Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Shopware capitalises on considerable growth with first UK office

July 16th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Open source eCommerce platform Shopware is strengthening its UK offering with the opening of a dedicated London office.

Having enabled more than £5bn in gross eCommerce volume, Shopware is the largest eCommerce platform operating in the German market. Since actively entering the UK market in 2016, the team has worked closely with its vast ecosystem of major brands and partner agencies to adapt its software for local requirements.

Having experienced a 500% growth rate over the past 18 months, the new premises will allow Shopware to further establish the UK as a core market.

And to further expand its resources in response to an increased demand, the company’s CEO Stefan Heyne will relocate from Germany to lead the onsite team. This will include highly skilled Sales Specialists, Enterprise Relations Managers and Partner Managers.

Stefan Heyne, CEO of Shopware, said: “The past 18 months have proven that the UK is one of our most important markets. This has been illustrated through an increased demand for Shopware’s solutions, resulting in a requirement for permanent premises in the UK.

We’re now pleased to unveil the plans for our new London office, opening in August 2018, which we believe will help us to become the UK’s leading eCommerce platform.”

Theo Paphitis’ #SBS announces Autumn Fair shortlist

July 16th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Shortlisted 36 to compete for 12 free exhibition spots

Small Business Sunday (#SBS), the online business community founded by Theo Paphitis, has announced its shortlist of businesses still in the running to secure space in Autumn Fair’s new #SBS Pavilion.

Of the 36 currently shortlisted, 12 will eventually be selected to fill free exhibition slots at the season’s number one marketplace for the retail industry. The process is to be judged by a panel of Autumn and Spring Fair experts from event organisers, Ascential.

The winners will take centre stage at the Fair, which runs 2-5 September at Birmingham NEC, and will gain access to thousands of visitors and buyers ready to order products ahead of the busiest retail period of the year – the Golden Quarter.

Theo Paphitis, founder of #SBS, said:It’s great to see so many fantastic small businesses making it to the shortlist. The list reflects the unique, hardworking businesses which make up the #SBS community. I’m looking forward to visiting the final 12 at Autumn Fair in September and urge them to make the most of this brilliant retail opportunity. I’m just glad I don’t have to make the final decision on the winners; now that really is going to be tough!”

Louise Young, managing director of Spring & Autumn Fair, said: “These 36 businesses are a fantastic representation of the varied and unique businesses which make up Theo’s inspiring #SBS community. Whittling them down to just twelve will be no easy task. Each business on the shortlist represents a brand with a bespoke idea or product – something which we as an event encourage, nurture and value.”

“Whilst I wish each of the shortlisted businesses the best of luck, we’re looking forward to welcoming the final 12 passionate and unique #SBS businesses to Autumn Fair. Given that each business has been carefully selected by Theo himself to be part of the community, we’re aware that the competition will be tough, but are confident that visitors to Autumn Fair will have some truly standout exhibitors to engage with as a result.”

For the full shortlist please see below:

  • B Organic Skincare: Organic skincare range free from nasty chemicals
  • Bad Dog Designs: Unique and individual clocks created from original vintage Nixie tubes
  • Basket Basket: Handmade woven baskets, bags and raffia giraffes from Madagascar, Morocco and Ghana
  • Berber Leather: Leather fashion accessories for business and leisure
  • BIGPAWS.CO: Innovative, wall mounted dog bowls and other accessories
  • Bodyenrich LTD: Handmade nourishing products packed with ethical ingredients and fine fragrances
  • Border in a Box: Garden design templates to help anyone easily create a pretty garden
  • Butterfly and Toadstool: Handmade, naturally inspired jewellery
  • Cally King: Perfume gift boxes for those new to the world of fragrance
  • Create Perfect: Bespoke interior design service
  • Cuddlebed Company: Sensory products for autism and special needs
  • Cuffs & Co.: Quirky, unusual and thoroughly British men’s fashion accessories
  • Dimpled Heart: Eclectic range of handcrafted homewares inspired by Scotland
  • Easy Peasy Cooking: Home recipe kits
  • EcoBags: Specialists in eco-friendly, promotional bags
  • I am Rachel: Kiln-enameled, vibrant jewellery pieces
  • Kiss-Air Candles: Soy wax candles infused with strong, fabulous fragrances
  • LALOA: Hand drawn original artworks reproduced onto all manner of soft furnishings and interior pieces
  • Laundreez: The ‘on the go’ washing solution for fresh clothes anywhere
  • LIBRIUM Games: Unique strategy games for everyone
  • Letterbox Lab: A kids’ science kit designed specifically to be more colourful, more convenient and more educational.
  • MK Kids Interiors: Personalised interior design company that caters exclusively to kids
  • Organik Orangutan: Organic palm oil-free soaps
  • Orkid Ideas: An all-in-one schedule, checklist, prompt reward chart and timetable solution
  • Perch Upholstery: The only furniture upholsterer working with felted wool in the UK
  • Red Herring Games: Murder mystery dinner party kits
  • Sarah Greening Glass: Individually crafted beautiful glass jewellery pieces
  • Sue Roche Illustrations: Artist and illustrator passionate about bringing the world to life in bright watercolour paintings in a fun, quirky and unique style
  • Sweet Dreamers: Soft toys for restless babies designed to recreate the soothing sensation of the womb
  • The Book Matchmaker: A ‘blind dating’ service but for literature
  • The Edible Museum: Novelty intricate chocolate sculptured to look like museum pieces.
  • The Jam Horse: Family business producing james, chutneys, mustard, meat rubs vinegars, curds and sauces
  • The Perfume Studio: The only company in the UK that allows everybody to design their own unique perfume at an affordable cost.
  • The Room Alive: Wallpaper designed and printed in the UK using paper from sustainable sources and organic ink pigments.
  • Whisky Tasting Company: Whisky bottlers offering premium, old and rare whisky gift sets
  • Z-O-E: Design studio crafting beautifully patterned muslin babywear

Marble décor a backdrop for iconic British fashion label

July 13th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Retail environments are designed with high traffic footfall in mind. When situated in an airport, such as London Luton which sees 14.5 million passengers passing through each year, the requirement for durable surfacing becomes even more important.

Fiorelli is known for its stylish and modern pieces. When interior designers Beyond Communications were tasked with developing the shop for the iconic label in London Luton Airport, they approached its design with an understanding of the practical demands the surfacing materials would be under as well as a recognition of the importance of aesthetic to reflect the brand.

To showcase Fiorelli’s hero products to their full potential, the Calacatta Marble décor from the TrueScale range by Formica Group was selected.

TrueScale’s Calacatta Marble look is based on a genuine Italian Calacatta marble slab, discovered by the Formica Group design team during their global travels to source authentic décor motifs.

With real marble’s high cost to source, its propensity to stain and a density that makes it difficult to work with, TrueScale offers an authentic visual solution in laminate that is significantly easier to apply in the retail environment and maintain. Its genuine marble representation is a fraction of the price and demonstrates that beautiful surfacing does not have to cost hundreds of pounds, even if it looks as though it does.

Applied to the shop’s plinths, branded panels and at the cash register, the time-honoured marble effect is a fitting backdrop for one of the UK’s leading fashion and accessories brands.

Calacatta Marble includes no repeat veining across the full width of the laminate sheet that gives the décor its authenticity, helping to provide an upscale identity to Fiorelli’s retail environment.

ISE to relocate to Barcelona in 2021

July 13th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

New permanent home will give the exhibition a chance to grow

Integrated Systems Events, the producers of the Integrated Systems Europe exhibition, has announced that its 2021 edition will be held at Gran Via, part of the Fira de Barcelona exhibition complex in Spain on 2-5 February.

The new venue will become the permanent location for the world’s largest AV and systems integration show.

The decision to relocate the ISE exhibition comes after 18 months of research into the viability of remaining at the RAI Amsterdam. With annual growth in ISE exhibitors and attendees approaching 10%, and the international AV market forecast to grow by 5% per annum through to 2021, it was concluded that ISE was outgrowing its popular Amsterdam location.

ISE 2018 attracted 80,923 attendees, of which 22,000 were visiting the show for the first time while 1,296 exhibitors filled 53,000 net sqm of floor space in 15 halls. ISE 2019 is expected to increase on these record breaking figures.

Mike Blackman, Managing Director Integrated Systems Events, commented: “The RAI and Amsterdam have provided a fantastic location, been great partners and contributed to the success of the show. But, demand from exhibitors, and the continued increase in the numbers of attendees, showed us that limited floor space was in danger of putting a brake on the show’s development. In spite of all our best efforts this was not an issue we felt could be solved by staying at the RAI Amsterdam.

“We conducted extensive exhibitor and attendee research and visited many major exhibition centres in Europe before making this important decision. By announcing our move to one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious convention complexes, we can now continue to focus on creating a unique experience for everyone and confidently plan for long-term development. At the same time, we will ensure that the remaining two editions of ISE at the RAI Amsterdam are the best in its illustrious history and a fitting way to bring our 14-year relationship with the venue and city to a close.”

The Fira de Barcelona is one of Europe’s most prestigious convention and conference locations. The complex has two exhibition venues and hosts 140 international trade shows each year, featuring over 30,000 exhibitors and attracting over two million attendees. In total it has over 400,000 sqm of floor space and 14 halls.

Gran Via is one of Europe’s largest and most modern exhibition venues. It blends outstanding architecture with exceptional functionality across 8 halls and 200,000 sqm of exhibition floor space. It also offers unparalleled visitor flow and state-of-the art services and logistics. It is conveniently placed for access to the nearby international airport and public transport.

ISE’s co-owners AVIXA and CEDIA are keen to highlight the positive benefits of the decision to relocate.

David Labuskes, AVIXA CEO, commented: “Our thinking in coming to this decision has been driven by our desire to serve and deliver value for our members, attendees and exhibitors at ISE. We can better achieve these objectives in a venue that can evolve with us and continue to reflect the market we work in.  The continued success of ISE and the growth anticipated in the AV business meant that we knew this decision would need to be taken before too long. I’m delighted that we were able make that decision now so as to control events and to ensure that a smooth transition is possible.”

Tabatha O’Connor, CEDIA Global President and CEO, commented: “Not only is the new venue a state of the art home for our show but the city of Barcelona is one of Europe’s most vibrant and exciting. It’s the perfect choice for an exhibition and growing industry that engenders creativity and commerce.”

Fira is one of the Europe’s leading trade fair organisations and is closely linked to the Barcelona brand, a city with over a century of trade fair tradition. Its annual economic contribution to the city of Barcelona and its surroundings is estimated at over €2,600 million. Fira is a consortium comprising the Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Generalitat and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, which combines public ownership with autonomous company management.

Both, the ISE 2019 and 2020 editions will take place at the RAI Amsterdam and are forecast to be the largest and most successful in the show’s 16-year history.

Further information on the move to Barcelona for exhibitors and attendees will be available from a live webcast, hosted on the ISE website ( at 13:00 CET on Thursday 19th July. Join us to find out more about ISE’s exciting plans for future growth.

Dalziel & Pow creates multi-faceted showroom concept for Danish brand Pieces

July 13th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The ‘Her Social Studio’ concept located within the office headquarters of parent company Bestseller in Aarhus, Denmark immerses customers in a multi-faceted hub for co-creation and brand storytelling. It’s an evolution of the concept store, in Den Bosch – Dalziel & Pow created for the brand in 2016.

Fusing classic retailing with a working studio, the space is multi-purpose and houses a myriad of brand activations and engagements, from staff training to trialling products and merchandising to customer workshops and styling sessions. The aim, to give any visitor, be that franchisee, partner, supplier or staff member an opportunity to ‘buy into the brand’ through a totally Immersive experience.

The flexible showroom is broadly divided into two zones – ‘Her Wardrobe’ and ‘Her Studio’.

The retail space ‘Her Wardrobe’ exudes a contemporary Scandinavian aesthetic, reflecting the world of Pieces’ customers – celebrating and empowering them to look good and share their looks in a warm welcoming setting. It’s designed to be a flexible shoppable space, featuring a “coming soon” panel for sneak peeks at future product collections and collaborations. As well as showcasing the store concept it can be used to trial merchandisng and VM ideas and accommodate a constantly changing programme of events and classes.

‘Her Studio’ is designed as a co-working space, giving insight into the brand and it’s creative processes. Customers and partners can relax on informal lounge seating, or access complimentary drinks and gift-wrapping from a concealed ‘Hosting Cupboard’. Perimeter walls throughout act as a vibrant canvas for expressing brand inspiration and charting the creative process – such as a pin board showcasing ‘works in progress’, an upcoming events calendar, a lifestyle mood board and a bold brand manifesto.

The showroom is 100% self service – it’s cashless, cardless and most of the time unstaffed. Visitors and staff can make purchases through via their own mobile device.

The whole space allows the brand story and retail concept to be told in a truly immersive and seamless way.


July 13th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

An innovative concept for the new retail areas for the Italian company Fedon which, for the recent international openings, has chosen the aluminium and fabric solutions created by the ABS Group on the design project of Store Builder, a company specialized in the design of retail spaces. After an initial project involving the use of traditional building materials, for the new Fedon store at Barcelona Airport, Store Builder was looking at possible construction alternatives. The fabric and solutions proposed by the ABS Group were worked on shared to look for the best set-up possibilities, taking advantage of the advantages offered by this material.

The results?

A new, innovative and complete store model has resulted where, from the separating walls to the upper panels, the environment is built and furnished in aluminium and fabric, avoiding all masonry work. The format was chosen to create the 25 sq.m store in Barcelona and then replicated and doubled in the 50 sq.m store in Madrid Airport.

The walls of the Fedon stores, which are equipped and back-lit, are equipped with magnetic hooks and shelves for displaying the products. Inside each store has a small room while above them a suspended unit about 30 cm high bears the company’s logo, again strictly in aluminum and fabric.

Entry to the 2019 Surface Design Awards is now open!

July 12th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The Surface Design Awards are now in their 7th year with past winners including; AL_A, Arup, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Coffey Architects, Giles Miller and BuckleyGrayYeoman.

The 2019 Awards will not be short of variety with projects entries from 16 different countries entering in 2018. There are 13 Awards across 7 different categories with most categories being divided into exterior and interior. Each project is judged on a variety of criteria including materials used, type of surface and aesthetic design.

The 2019 judging panel will be co-chaired by Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West and Paul Priestman of PriestmanGoode. They are joined by six fellow professionals from the architecture and design world:

  • Cany Ash, Ash Sakula Architects
  • James Soane, Project Orange
  • Jeremy Offer, Arrival
  • Katie Greenyer, Pentland Brands
  • Paul Edwards, Airbus
  • Roz Barr, Roz Barr Architects

In 2018 there were 30 finalist, 13 of these located in the UK. AL_A won the honour of becoming Surface Design Awards Supreme Winner in 2018 for their stunning project The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), in Lisbon. The MAAT builds upon Portugal’s rich tradition of craft and ceramics; almost 15,000 three-dimensional crackle glazed tiles articulate the façade and produce a complex surface that gives mutable readings of water, light and shadow. The project was described by judge, Jo Littlefair as “poetic with beautiful curves, a building whose design and surface promotes art and architecture”.

Enter now to secure your involvement in one of the most respected events of the year and to be in with a chance to win an Award. Projects can be submitted by the client, architect or designer, surface supplier or their representative. Entries close Friday 28th September. Sponsors of the 2019 Awards are Business Design Centre and James Latham.

The Surface Design Awards are part of Surface Design show an event in the UK that solely focuses on interior and exterior design, allowing for thousands of innovative and thrilling materials to connect with an audience of architects and designers.

For more details on the Awards and how to enter them, visit or contact Nicole Clements on +44 (0)20 7886 3082/

Consumer spending rises 5.1 per cent as World Cup fever takes hold

July 11th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

  • Consumer spending grew 5.1 per cent year-on-year in June, maintaining the high level seen in May
  • Non-essential expenditure reached 5.5 per cent growth – the best performance since October 2016
  • Entertainment saw its largest increase since last summer, with pub spending scoring a 33 per cent rise on the day of England’s debut match in the World Cup
  • Retailers may also see a boost in the coming months, as 42 per cent of Brits want to support their local high street in the wake of recent store closures

Consumer spending grew 5.1 per cent year-on-year in June, maintaining the high level seen in May as consumers continued to prioritise making the most of the summer’s experiences.

Data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, shows that non-essential spending grew 5.5 per cent, its best performance since October 2016.

This was driven by a particularly strong month for entertainment which hit 11.3 per cent, the largest increase since July last year. As consumers demonstrated their continued willingness to spend on experiences, cinema and tickets soared to 20 per cent growth, while restaurants saw an increase of 9.7 per cent.

Boosted by the kick-off of the World Cup, pub expenditure grew 9.5 per cent overall in June – and spending increased 33 per cent on the day of the first England match compared to the same day a week prior. This contributed to entertainment spend rising 10 per cent week-on-week in the first seven days of the football.

Essential spending, meanwhile, settled to a 3.2 per cent increase. Higher prices at the pump led to a strong rise in petrol (9.3 per cent), which made up for supermarket growth dropping to the lowest level for 15 months (0.8 per cent) – albeit against a strong figure from June 2017 (6.0 per cent).

This year’s unseasonably warm weather – which continued with heatwaves at the start and end of June – proved positive for garden centres, which saw a rise of 10.5 per cent last month. What’s more, of the one in three Brits (33 per cent) who have spent more than normal so far this summer, almost three in ten (28 per cent) say it’s because they were planning more activities to make the most of the hot weather.

Overall the sunshine seems to have prompted consumers to become more optimistic as 65 per cent now feel confident in their household finances – the highest proportion in twelve months.

In fact, shoppers are looking to harness this spending power and take positive action to strengthen their local communities. Following the recent news of store closures across the country, 42 per cent of Brits say they want to do something to support their high street. One in five (21 per cent) will try to visit more independent shops to back local businesses and a similar proportion (19 per cent) plan to buy items in-store rather than online.

Looking ahead, however, Brits remain somewhat cautious with four in ten (42 per cent) stating they will hold off on buying big-ticket items until the economy seems more settled.

Esme Harwood, Director at Barclaycard, said:

“Consumer spending maintained its strong growth in June for the second month in a row. As the warm weather continues and World Cup fever sets in, it’s clear many households are prioritising fun in the sun while making the most of the summer’s best experiences.

“While some lingering caution remains, confidence in household finances is at a 12-month high. This may be good news for retailers, especially as many shoppers are keen to use their spending power to help their local high street.”

Jack Wills and Côte Brasserie further boost Festival Place’s appeal

July 11th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Festival Place Basingsoke has further strengthened its position as a premier division shopping centre with the signing of two more top brands, both of which are new to the town.

Jack Wills will open a 2,800 sq ft store, offering a range of British-heritage inspired men’s and women’s clothing. It will join other top retailers at the centre including anchor stores Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Next, as well as Apple, H&M, Zara, Superdry, Jack & Jones, JD, River Island, Moss Bros, Lush, Fat Face, GAP and Office.

Côte Brasserie will open a 3,350 sq ft restaurant bringing its Parisian-inspired all-day offer to the centre, boosting the wide spectrum of casual dining choices. Located in Festival Square, the scheme’s dining and leisure quarter by the recently revamped 10-screen Vue Cinema, the new restaurant will be enhanced with an alfresco seating area. The centre already features an appealing menu of restaurants including Las Iguanas, PizzaExpress, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Nando’s, Giraffe, wagamama and Patisserie Valerie.

Since acquiring Festival Place in December 2015, AEW has signed some 25 new leases in the centre. Additionally, 57 existing tenants have renewed their leases with several choosing to upgrade, upsize or relocate within the centre improving the customer experience and overall visual appeal. During the two-and-a-half years under AEW’s asset management direction, footfall has increased by over two million, taking the annual total to 22.4 million customers.

Russell Jewell, Head of Private Equity Funds at AEW, said: “These latest brands demonstrate the high-quality, aspirational brands that the scheme continues to attract. Both names are opening in the town for the first time, joining an appealing line-up of retailers and dining operators. Our overall refurbishment, combined with upgrades by tenants, will continue to make Festival Place even more enticing.”

Neil Beaman, Property Director at Jack Wills, said: “Festival Place is the ideal location for our first Basingstoke store. Improvements to the centre and the strong catchment profile means we’re confident of trading well. For more than 18 years, Jack Wills has focused on the highest quality clothing and a spirited and inspired youthful appeal, epitomising what it is to be British, irreverent and carefree. We are looking forward to opening and providing Hampshire customers with more choice.”

Steve Seager, Property Director at Côte Brasserie, said: “Our restaurants are inspired by the brasseries of Paris, bringing relaxed all-day dining and authentic French classics made from great quality, fresh ingredients. With a large outdoor seating area at Festival Place, we will create the feel of a Parisian pavement bistro with real buzz.”

Joint agents for Festival Place are Lunson Mitchenall and Cushman & Wakefield. CBRE is the managing agent for the centre.

    2018 A1 Buyers Guide
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