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News in brief the week ending November 17, 2007

News in brief the week ending November 17, 2007:
  • Attic is to open its new flagship store in Aberdeen this week. The young fashion retailer, which has been trading for seven years, has tripled the size of its store in the Academy shopping centre in the city. The move is part of an expansion plan at the three-store business, which aims to open five stores in the next five years.

  • Harold Crabtree, the menswear independent in Halifax, West Yorkshire, has modernised its store with a new shopfit. On the back of the refit sales last week rocketed by 101% on a like-for-like basis. Harold Crabtree’s second store in nearby Hebden Bridge will receive the same treatment next year.

  • Keates of Witney in Oxfordshire has expanded its store by adding two new floors. The menswear specialist has also launched into womenswear for the first time in the firm’s 95-year history, by stocking a collection of women’s occasionwear.

  • Meghan Kinney, the US designer, opened her first European store in Dublin last week. The designer, who sells under the label Meg, has three stores in North America, in New York and Los Angeles in the US, and Toronto in Canada. The Dublin store is her first franchise in partnership with retailers Catherine and Rosemarie Noone.

  • Fran & Jane, the eight-store Republic of Ireland independent womenswear chain, is to open a 1,200 sq ft store at Dundrum shopping centre near Dublin next March. Last week, the retailer opened a 1,200sq ft shop in the new CHQ building in Dublin. Fran & Jane has built up a reputation in Ireland for its own-label mainstream womenswear brand Regine, which it mixes in with a selection of other labels in its stores.

  • Papà Razzi, a new handbag brand, has launched a collection of quirky clutches. Styles include a puffy bow-shaped bag in gold, and another designed to resemble a rolled-up magazine secured with a leather strap. Stockists include Fenwick and Bentalls, with prices from £15 to £25. Contact 020 7629 1761 for more information.

  • CCDK will launch a beachwear capsule collection for spring 08. The Danish womenswear brand’s range will include two bikinis, a one-piece swimsuit, kaftans, flip-flops and beach bags. Prices range from £14 to £22. Phone 020 7354 2442 for details.

  • Francesca Amfitheatrof, creative director of ceramics firm Wedgwood, has launched her own jewellery line, called Kabiri, for spring 08. Currently available in Selfridges and online at, pieces are made from ultra-fine knitted silver and Indian gems and stones. Prices range from £25 to £160. Contact 020 7608 2646 for more information.

  • So Lee, the Korean-British womenswear brand, has opened its first store in Hampstead, north London. So Lee started life on a stall in Camden market and now has 300 accounts, including Debenhams and

  • Aruna Seth, the footwear, wallet and handbag brand, will unveil its first full collection for autumn 08 in January. Pieces include Swarovski crystal-encrusted heels, ruffled bows and 1980s-style metallics. The brand is still taking orders for spring 08 delivery, with prices starting from £61 for wallets and £76 for shoes. Call 020 7730 4143 for details.

  • Valentino Fashion Group reported a rise in sales and profits for the first nine months of the year, with sales up 9.2% and net profit up 11.4% to €102.4 million (£72m) during the period. This was driven by positive growth at all of the group’s main brands, including Hugo Boss.

  • Diesel has appointed Steve Birkhold as chief executive of its US business. Birkhold joins from VF Corporation and replaces Pan Philippou, who left Diesel after 12 years earlier this year to head London-based World Design & Trade, which owns Firetrap, Fullcircle and Sonneti.

  • Artful Dodger has been bought for about £15 million by Scion LLC, a joint venture between Iconix Brand Group and Shawn Carter, who is better known as US hip-hop star Jay-Z. Artful Dodger is a high-end young fashion brand sold in boutiques including Harvey Nichols.

  • Hermès International reported like-for-like sales growth of 13.6% for the 13 weeks to September 30. Total group sales for the first nine months of 2007 were up 11.2% to €1.1 billion. Clothing and accessories grew by 12%, following a 16% surge in the third quarter.

  • Benetton posted a strong global sales performance this week for the nine months to September 30. The Italian group, which operates brands including United Colors of Benetton and Sisley, said revenues had grown by 9.6% during the period to €1.5 million (£1m). EBITDA also increased to €226m (£160m), up 19% against the same period the year before. The business performed well domestically, with sales rising by 10% in Italy. Sales across Europe rose 13%.

  • Gio-Goi has appointed Trevor Mathurin as head of UK sales to increase UK distribution and develop new product categories. The young fashion brand is considering developing an accessories collection and relaunching its denim category. Mathurin left his role of UK sales manager for Firetrap after a decade at the brand.

  • Peacocks opened its 500th store on Thursday at the MetroCentre in Gateshead. The 9,500sq ft shop is the latest to have the value retailer’s new fashion format, which launched earlier this year.

  • James Lakeland is to open a shop in London. The 1,200sq ft store, which is due to open in mid-December on New Cavendish Street, will carry the contemporary womenswear brand’s full range. The brand also has concessions in House of Fraser, Hoopers and Allders.

  • Falke has launched a shop-in-shop in Harrods. The 535sq ft space follows the concept of the hosiery brand’s Berlin flagship store, and splits the product into categories such as classic, casual, functional and sport. The shop-in-shop has been created in collaboration with German architect Keggenhoff & Partner.

  • Russell & Bromley’s profits jumped 6.5% to £9.87 million for the year to December 31 2006, with turnover at the 43-strong footwear chain up 6.6% to £73.84m for the period. Profit before tax was £9.87m, up from £9.27m for the previous year. Operating profit was £8.76m, up from £8.2m.

  • Mark Chapman is managing director of specialist retail property consultant Chapman Consulting, and not as stated in Drapers (November 3).

  • Tracey Mann, the store director at Selfridges on Oxford Street in London, has left the business. The department is currently looking for a replacement, but an appointment is unlikely to be made before the end of the year.

  • Faith recorded sales of £89 million in the year to June 30, according to accounts filed at Companies House. The figure represents a £600,000 decline from last year’s sales of £89.6m. Pre-tax losses at the footwear retailer narrowed to £5.4m from £7.2m in 2006.
    Coast has promoted retail director Liz Shipwright to the new role of managing director. Shipwright joined the high street womenswear retailer, which is part of Mosaic Fashion, nearly two years ago. Prior to that she held senior roles at Marks & Spencer. Shipwright will report to Mosaic boss Derek Lovelock. A replacement has yet to be announced.

  • Kurt Geiger is understood to be preparing a sale. Barclays Private Equity, who bought the business for an estimated £100 million in 2005, is understood to be seeking advisers to handle the sale.

  • Gola International has appointed Gareth Clarke as general manager. Clarke, who has worked in the industry for 10 years, joins the sports brand from Puma.

  • Moss Bros chairman Keith Hamill will retire next April, after seven years at the business. He joined as a non-executive director in 2000 and became non-executive chairman five months later in 2001. The company said it would announce a new chairman in due course.

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