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News in brief

News in brief from Drapers magazine the week ending October 20, 2007:

Steady performance for Internaçionale
Young fashion chain Internaçionale saw sales grow 5% to £130.5 million for the year to March 31 2007, from £124.4m last year. Pre-tax profit fell slightly to £5m from £5.3m the previous year. Gross margin was steady at 52.3% and 19 stores were opened, taking the total to 151. Internaçionale was part of an MBO of Ossian Retail last year.

September sales rise 25% at H&M
Sales at H&M rose 25% last month, compared with September 2006. The retailer now has 1,452 international stores, up from 1,300 last September. A sales update for October will be issued on November 15.

Spring show biggest in 10 years for LFW
London Fashion Week’s spring 08 show last month was its biggest for a decade. A catwalk schedule of 53 designers and a record 250 labels showing at the Exhibition generated more than £45 million worth of media coverage, orders of up to £50m and additional spend in London of £20m. It is estimated that LFW generates more than £100m a year for the city’s economy. LFW’s autumn 08 show will take place on February 10-16 next year.

Catherine Bailey stars in Agent Provocateur ad
Catherine Bailey, model and wife of photographer David Bailey, will star in the second “episode” of Agent Provocateur’s ad campaign next month. The lingerie retailer’s 2007 campaign is a four-part series called The Adventures of Miss AP. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal starred the first instalment.

Cold snap boosts London’s like-for-like sales
Retail like-for-like sales in central London were up 6.8% last month compared with last year, but sales growth was the weakest since May of this year, according to the British Retail Consortium. Cooler weather last month compared with September 2006’s milder temperatures drew customers into the shops, with clothing and footwear sales “well above” last September. Premium handbags and jewellery were particularly popular.

Oasis and Coast link up with Asos.com
Mosaic Fashions brands Oasis and Coast have started selling on etailer Asos.com. The etailer will sell 38 styles across the Coast and Oasis daywear, partywear, casual and workwear collections. It will also stock the Oasis Little Black Dress line.

Ex-Adams boss takes the helm at Pragma
Former Adams Childrenswear managing director Patrick Woodall has been appointed director of brand consultancy Pragma. Woodall, who left Adams in March, joined Pragma last month and will spearhead the growth of its international retail client base. Pragma’s clients include private equity firm Apax and retailers Monsoon, Arcadia and Faith.

Mischa Barton extends Keds deal
Sports-casual footwear brand Keds has extended its contract with actress Mischa Barton as the face of the brand. After a season-long tie-up, Barton has re-signed for autumn 07, kicking off with a new ad campaign shot in Oxford. The ads feature British-born Barton surrounded by male models wearing Keds’ men’s collection, which is now available in the UK.

Accessories etailer has Amazon in its sights
AccessoriesStudio.com, an online branded shop that aims to be the Amazon.com of accessories, has launched online. The transactional site sells handbags, belts, jewellery, gloves, hats and scarves from both established and up-and-coming brands, including French Connection, Ollie & Nic, Jocasi, Loop and Jackie Brazil.

Retailers hunt out biggest ever Stag event
Sportswear buying group Stag is to host its biggest ever buying event this month, with visitor figures expected to be 20% higher than last year. The event, which brings together sportswear brands including Merrell, Timberland, Puma, Asics and KangaRoos, will take place at the Heythrop Park Hotel in Oxfordshire on October 18-19. For details visit www.stagbuyinggroup.com.

M&R agency to showcase its brands online
Manchester-based agency M&R is to launch a website that will showcase its branded collections, including Fly 53, Teddy Smith, Junk Food and Walé Adeyemi. The site will provide retailers with details about sizing, colourways and brand biographies. Registered users will be able to view key lines, while existing brand customers will have access to the full collections.

New buying director joins Adams Kids
Adams Kids has drafted in River Island buying controller Lindsey Williams as buying director. Williams, whose start date is yet to be confirmed, will embark on a product overhaul to increase its appeal to kids. Williams said she planned to turn Adams Kids into a store that children would want to visit, with much more fashion-focused product.

Mary Queen of Shops calls for independents
Retail troubleshooter Mary Portas is searching for fashion independents to take part in the second series of BBC2 TV show Mary Queen of Shops. For the first time at least one of the stores will be a menswear independent. Filming starts in November and the series will air in spring 2008. To take part, email queenofshops@optomen.com or phone 020 7967 1771.

Ben Sherman picks Bullring for fifth UK store
Ben Sherman will open its fifth UK store next week at The Bullring in Birmingham. The new 3,000sq ft store will house women’s, men’s, and kids’ wear, plus accessories, underwear and footwear. The design mirrors the storefit of its London Carnaby Street and Manchester Trafford Centre shops, featuring vintage furniture and antique ornaments.

Pair ride into Rawhide Accessories’ team
Supplier Rawhide Accessories has recruited two new team members. Andy Hewat has been appointed from Reebok as UK and European sales director. Jamie Cooke has joined from Dryberg Kern as brand manager for the Pacha label.

Louis Vuitton to create new Bond Street shop
Luxury accessories brand Louis Vuitton is to open a new flagship store on London’s Bond Street after acquiring the unit next door to its existing shop. The brand, which has five other stores in the UK, has bought the lease for the former Donna Karan unit and will combine it with its existing store. Retail agent Harper Dennis Hobbs advised Louis Vuitton.

Racing Green launches women’s accessories
Lifestyle retailer Racing Green is launching a range of women’s accessories. The collection will feature leather bags, silk-lined gloves, belts, cashmere scarves and cufflinks, with pieces limited to 100 for each product. It will be available online from November 1, with prices ranging from £15 to £60.

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