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This week in history...

New Look considered launching a lifestyle store concept, an explosive growth of EPoS systems was predicted and a retailer went to jail for trading with Germany.

10 years ago…

New Look was considering plans for a lifestyle standalone concept, according to the July 10 1999 issue of Drapers.

A spokesman for the high street retailer said lifestyle product was “one of the growth areas where we can apply fashion principlesof styling. Retailers like Urban Outfitters from the US prove it can be done.”

In May, New Look announced it would trial giftware such as picture frames and mirrors for autumn 99, and one industry source said Tom Singh, New Look’s founder, was masterminding the move.

Also in the news, value chain primark“>Primark kicked off an in-store rebranding strategy “to update its image and refit its stores”.

The new shopfit, designed by consultancy Dalziel & Pow, was set to go into four stores, while new own labels being launched included Cedarwood State for men and Atmosphere for women.

24 years ago…

A major report predicted “explosive growth” in the installation of electronic point-of-sale systems (EPoS) over the next six years, reported Drapers on July 13 1985.

The report, Retailing Tomorrow by ICL, forecast a tenfold increase in the number of EPoS terminals in shops and pubs, and that they would replace cash registers at more than eight out 10 payment points by the end of the 1980s.

However, the report also found that consumers had little knowledge about EPoS, with nine out of 10 shoppers having never heard of it, and just 4% knowing what it meant. More than 60% of consumers also said they disliked the idea of paying without cash or cheques.

This week also put the spotlight on the graduate fashion collections, with a feature picking out the names to look out for in the late 1980s. International companies including Alberta Ferretti, Daniel Hechter and MaxMara were reported to have already signed up some of the cream of the student crop.

55 years ago…

Branded goods manufacturers were criticised by Drapers in its July 10 1954 issue for “riding roughshod” over small retailers.

“Pressure has come from large firms to ‘axe’ a competitor,” wrote the magazine. An example was given of one independent being told that if they did not ditch a rival brand, the manufacturer would close all its accounts with the store’s other branches too. 

Also this week, continued unseasonable weather meant that many retailers were forced to extend their summer Sale in a bid to shift summer styles and lightweight clothing. One retailer lengthening their Sale period said: “The weather is so bad that if we don’t do it trade will flop!” 

94 years ago…

Just over a year into the First World War, “business circles” were debating whether or not to impose a protective tariff on product from Germany and Austria, wrote Drapers on July 10 1915. The magazine said no decision should be made right now, but called for a frank discussion “for the good of our country.”

There were fears that after the war German manufacturers may instigate a “dumping” campaign of cut-price product in the UK to kill off those emerging British firms that were set up during wartime to replace product that previously came from Germany, with the low prices potentially outweighing anti-German sentiment among UK consumers.

Drapers pointed out the desirability of setting up a commercial union between the UK, France, Italy, Russia and Belgium to encourage trade between allied countries.

Trading with Germany landed one retailer in court this week, the magazine also reported. George Badenoch, a woollen merchant, was accused of sending goods to Germany via the Netherlands. Badenoch was found guilty and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.

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