Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

MADE.COM launches Leeds pop-up shop

September 21st, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

  • New Leeds location has opened for six weeks until 31 October 2020
  • Store in prime position within Victoria Gate Shopping Centre
  • Consultations for home inspiration free to book

Online design brand, MADE.COM, has opened a pop-up showroom apartment in the heart of Leeds for six weeks, until 31 October 2020.

The ‘Design Your Happy Place’ apartment opened in Leeds Victoria Gate shopping centre on Saturday 19 September 2020.

In a prime location joining an array of leading global brands, the new showroom offers customers looking for inspiration an opportunity to engage with MADE’s latest furniture and homeware designs. The space has been styled in an apartment setting, featuring a living room and dining room kitted out in MADE’s collections and MADEover videos to demonstrate how to transform your home.

Free bookable design consultations are also available to customers, either in person or virtually. Individuals can choose a colour palette and take home a selection of samples to match their tastes.

MADE’s Head of ShowroomsJamie Bennett, said: “We have a long and happy association with Leeds. We are excited to open this MADE showroom to introduce our brand to new customers. The pop-up showcases our latest pieces, demonstrating what a little renovating can do to completely transform a space.”

Social distancing and Covid-19 measures are implemented to ensure the safety of staff and customers. Victoria Gate also carries out digital crowd monitoring with a live feed to its website for visitors to check.

The new pop-up joins the neighbouring MADE showroom at interiors department store, Redbrick Mill, Batley which opened in 2013.

Address: 6 Victoria Gate, Harewood Street, Leeds, LS2 7AR

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 11am-5pm

Post Office furthers gift card offering with help from Blackhawk Network

September 21st, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The Post Office announces that it has rolled out an array of new gift cards for consumers to buy through Blackhawk Network. From today, a range of new gift cards will be available to purchase in over 1000 Post Office stores across the UK, giving consumers access to thousands of brands.

The Post Office initially began its gift card offering 15 years ago, with the now Blackhawk Network owned market leading multi-store gift card, the One4all, which can be spent in more than 55,000 outlets across the UK. After seeing huge success with One4all, today’s news represents a new chapter for both companies, as Post Office looks to become a key player in the gift card space.

As well as One4all, the new gifts cards that will be available include:

  • Spotify
  • Google Play
  • Xbox
  • Sony Playstation
  • Nintendo
  • ASOS
  • Restaurant Choice
  • Fashion Choice
  • Student Choice
  • Teen Choice
  • Kids Choice

Mark Siviter, Post Office Managing Director for Mails & Retail said: “Post Office has always been the place to go for the versatile One4all gift card that can be used across more than 100 retailers and restaurants, in store and online. Now, through our new partnership with Blackhawk, a wider range of gift cards will be introduced in our larger Post Offices which will provide customers with more variety across gaming, entertainment and online fashion brands such as ASOS. This should ensure there is something for everyone, satisfying the gifting needs of all family and friends. Post Office is the one-stop gifting shop for customers to purchase their gift card of choice and send to a loved one, all in one visit. Check out our range today in your local Post Office branch.”

Matt Howe, Managing Director EMEA at Blackhawk Network said: “In many places, Post Office is often in the heart of the community, especially in rural areas, so this new partnership is making it easier for people across the country to find the perfect gift for loved ones wherever they are based. Gift cards are a fantastic way to give people choice over what presents or rewards they receive, which is especially important amongst younger generations where tastes vary more than ever before. But, we also find that more people than ever are buying gift cards for themselves, especially when it comes to accessing gaming platforms, so this partnership will make it easier than ever for people to purchase gift cards, be that as a gift or for themselves.”

smeg launches new online store for the Spanish market with help from Kooomo

September 21st, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Iconic appliance manufacturer chooses Zerogrey to manage its online store on the Kooomo platform

smeg, the Italian manufacturer of domestic appliances known for its retro style fridge’s and stylish electrical appliances has launched its new online store with the support of global eCommerce platform specialist Kooomo and managed by its sister company, Zerogrey. The new site features a greatly improved customer experience (CX) thanks to the latest eCommerce technologies and third-party retail integrations.

smeg is an Italian home appliance manufacturer that has designed innovative household appliances for all everyday environments since 1948. With subsidiaries worldwide, overseas offices and an extensive sales network, it’s an iconic brand across the globe.

With no owned online presence in the Spanish market, smeg approached Zerogrey to manage its online presence on the Kooomo platform. The new website was designed with the smeg customer in mind, focusing on European history and style with a luxurious finish. The user experience (UX) was therefore a critical factor, ensuring its brand values were accurately represented through the new store.

smeg chose to work with Zerogrey for the set up and management of its official online shop as a result of its 20 years’ of unrivalled experience in eCommerce, its proven success with other high profile brands and its guaranteed eShop management.

Built on Kooomo’s SaaS platform, the site is easily scalable and SEO friendly. It also integrates a range of additional tools such as GA, GTM and Mailchimp to enable the brand to provide a range of services. For the end customer, the site was built to be as intuitive as possible, including all of the features today’s modern customers expect from an online store. With clear category and product pages, providing all additional information required, stunning product images, customer Instagram images and one-step payment options, the new site provides a seamless UX.

Ciaran Bollard, CEO at Kooomo said, “we’re thrilled to have launched smeg’s latest website and a strong digital strategy, working alongside such a renowned and iconic brand to bring its vision to the Spanish market. We’ve incorporated a number of advanced eCommerce features to create a superior customer buying journey, which smeg expects will grow sales in the Spanish market by 200% in the next two years.

Capital & Regional opens new Matalan store at The Mall Maidstone and announces new Pure Gym

September 21st, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Capital & Regional, an owner and manager of community shopping centres, opened a major new 23,000 sqft Matalan store at The Mall Maidstone this weekend. This is confirmed as the only new store to be added to Matalan’s UK portfolio in 2020, and takes up the last remaining former-BHS space in the Capital & Regional’s portfolio. The Matalan opening coincided with PureGym, the UK’s largest gym operator, which will start fitting out its new fitness facility at the centre in November.

Family retailer Matalan officially opened at The Mall Maidstone on Saturday 19th September. Keeping family at the heart of the brand, the Maidstone store includes womenswear fashion inspiration, fantastic kidswear, menswear and on trend homeware, all under one roof. Relocating from a previous unit on the edge of the town centre, the new store at the Mall Maidstone offers a new and exciting high street location for customers, with the most up to date fit out. The store takes over the unit formally occupied by BHS. Capital & Regional has now fully let all former BHS space across its portfolio.

“Matalan is a perfect fit for us in Maidstone, enhancing the everyday needs-based clothing and homeware offer at the centre, as well as the staple, dependable family offer that’s key for our local community. It’s been a tremendous team effort to open this new store in the current retail climate, an effort that speaks to the incredible professionalism and resolve of both project teams. We’re also incredibly proud as a business to have the retailer’s only new store opening this year at one of Capital & Regional’s centres” said Gareth Holland, leasing executive at Capital & Regional, who led on the deal. 

Capital & Regional has worked closely with Matalan to ensure the new store could open on schedule, overcoming the various challenges presented by Covid-19 and ensuring new health and safety protocols were upheld throughout, issuing clear guidelines and regular contact with Matalan during the intensive fit-out process. 

Antony Darbyshire, property director at Matalan commented: “We’re delighted with our major new Maidstone store, and impressed that we’ve been able to open on time – it’s been a great team effort across the board. Relocating from our old store to The Mall Maidstone has enabled us to boost our local presence by ensuring our store is well located as possible in central Maidstone and as accessible to shoppers as possible, and represents the high standards expected by the local community. We’re looking forward to working with Capital & Regional in the coming months to ensure our customers can enjoy a safe shopping experience in our much-improved store.” 

Furthermore, PureGym began fitting out its new 14,000 sq ft gym facility at The Mall Maidstone. PureGym is moving into a previously vacant unit at the shopping centre, underpinning Capital & Regional’s long-term strategy to create thriving and cohesive communities by introducing non-retail uses in its centres – uses that complement the needs-based anchor tenants currently operating across its portfolio.

Rob Hadfield, Commercial Director at Capital & Regional, said “We aim to create vibrant mixeduse destinations that meet the needs and aspirations of our local communities. Signing PureGym at the Mall Maidstone is another big step forward in this sense, empowering the local community to reconnect through health and fitness.”

This is the second PureGym opening for a Capital & Regional centre in 2020. The market-leading gym operator opened its doors at Capital & Regional’s The Marlowes shopping centre in Hemel Hempstead in January.

Duncan Costin, property director at PureGym, said “Following the successful launch of our store at The Marlowes, we are excited to begin works on our new store at The Mall Maidstone in November. It’s another ideal location for PureGym given the prominence of the shopping centre within Maidstone. The availability of parking at the centre and surrounding public transport are key attractions for us and will no doubt be appreciated by our members.”

Waitrose makes canny move with the removal of plastic on all tinned multibuy food

September 21st, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Waitrose will now accelerate efforts to stamp out single use plastic by ending the use of multibuy shrinkwrap on millions of own label tinned grocery products.

The plastic wrap, which is used to keep three or four cans attached for convenience but can’t always be recycled, will now be removed permanently on all Waitrose tinned food.

Removing the shrinkwrap on some of the best selling everyday essentials – including baked beans, kidney beans, sweetcorn, chopped and plum tomatoes and tuna – means a significant reduction in single use plastic, saving over 45 tonnes a year.

The pandemic has prompted record sales of tinned food as a shift in shopping behaviour led customers to doing larger shops and stocking up on store cupboard staples and multibuys. Sales of tinned food remains strong with many products currently up by 50% compared to last year.

The plastic has already been removed from cans of essential Waitrose kidney beans and sweetcorn with others following in the next few months.The vast majority of multibuy cans will now be available loose, with the exception of tuna and tomatoes, which will move to a card sleeve that can be recycled. Last year’s trial highlighted that customers still prefer the convenience of buying certain canned foods together.

Claire Mitchell, Canned Food Buyer, Waitrose & Partners, said: “Our essential Waitrose tinned food has been selling in record numbers  since March and we want to ensure that we can continue to give customers the best quality and value, without passing on the plastic on such popular products.

Our customers expect us to keep tackling plastic, which includes eliminating single use shinkwrap on our multibuys. This is a significant step towards our plan to phase out non-recyclable plastic from all our packaging by 2021.”

Waitrose has also removed the multibuy plastic on essential Waitrose tissues. This additional move to eliminate single-use plastic will save a further 4.49 tonnes a year.

The essential Waitrose range offers great value and quality . The products  are responsibly sourced, farmed using sustainable methods and made from quality ingredients by trusted suppliers.  All essential Waitrose canned tuna is MSC Pole & Line caught and essential Waitrose tinned tomatoes are hand checked for quality and canned within 24 hours to lock in the very best flavour.

Doors Open at Wren Kitchens Showroom in Mansfield Boasting Over 60 Kitchens on Display

September 21st, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

An impressive Wren Kitchens showroom in Mansfield has officially opened its doors on Friday, 18th September creating 18 jobs in the local community.

The former Dreams unit at Portland Retail Park has been completely transformed over several months and it now includes 64 kitchens on display, an interior design studio and a virtual reality hub so customers can see their dream kitchen come to life.

The city’s Mayor Cllr Andy Abrahams officially cut the ribbon and was presented with a £500 donation towards his 500 Fund where he has helped 24 community projects around the district. So far, the Mayor has donated over £12,000 from his salary to 24 community projects and Wren’s donation will enable yet another voluntary group to get off the ground.

The Mayor of Mansfield, Cllr Andy Abrahams, said: “I am delighted that Wren Kitchens has come to Mansfield – I am confident they will be a success. This is a very exciting time to be locating here with £50 million being invested in the town centre and with the Council and many developers building homes all around the district.”

Customers will be able to work with Wren’s expert designers in the design studio to create their new kitchen using Wren’s award-winning dual screen 3D software. In the dedicated VR studio, they can put on headsets to experience their new kitchen using virtual reality including walking around it and opening doors and drawers.  This innovative piece of technology was recently crowned winner of project of the year at the Real IT Awards 2020.

The showroom also features an interactive Home Connect Technology area, a vast array of door samples and a dream wine cellar and pantry!

Wren Kitchens Showroom Manager at Mansfield, Andrew Hallam, is excited to have taken the reins. He was previously based at the Nottingham Wren Kitchens showroom for seven years and has over 25 years’ experience as a retail manager. He said: “We’re proud to be bringing the Wren brand to the Mansfield community as the nearest showrooms are some distance away in Nottingham and Derby.

“We’re confident that customers will be blown away as soon as they step foot in the showroom thanks to the abundance of inspirational displays including contemporary, traditional and industrial style kitchens as well as our friendly, expert team on hand to help make dream kitchens come to life.”

Wren Kitchens is the UK’s number one kitchen retailer and Mansfield will be its 97th showroom to open in the UK, with the hundredth expected to open in Greenwich in November.

Dobbies reopen soft plays with safety measures in place

September 18th, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Following updated guidance from the UK Government that soft plays may reopen in England, UK garden centre retailer, Dobbies Garden Centre, is reopening 31 soft plays across the estate throughout September.

The safety of team members and customers remains the number one priority, and a number of social distancing measures have been put in place.

Dobbies’ soft plays are cleaned and sanitised before opening, mid-way through the day and after closing, to make playtime safe. Atalian Servest have been employed to apply Zoono antibacterial cleaning product fortnightly.

There will be reduced capacity in all soft plays, with customers requested to book in advance to manage numbers. This will also enable team members to collect data for NHS Test and Trace. There are extra hand cleaning stations, and adults will be required to wear face coverings until seated at a table within the soft play. Face coverings are not required for children under 11.

Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “We have successfully reopened garden centres and restaurants across the UK, and are well-place to welcome customers into our soft plays. Thank you to all team members who have worked hard to ensure our soft plays are ready and we look forward to welcoming visitors for a fun and safe day out.”

For a video for the measures:

The dates for opening are outlined below, but may be subject to change.

Open now: Altrincham, Ashford, Atherstone, Bury St Edmonds, Chesterfield, Derby, Leicester, Liverpool, Shenstone, Shrewsbury, Southport, Stapleton, Stockton, Telford, Woodbridge, Harleston Heath, Marple, Moreton Park, Royston, Aylesbury, Galton, Gillingham, Hare Hatch, Thornbury, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

From 21 September: Gloucester, Havant, Kings Lynn.

Deeside distiller toasts Co-op supply deal

September 18th, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Deeside distiller, Lost Loch Spirits, is “toasting” a deal with the Co-op which will make it available at up to 50 stores in Scotland.

The craft distillery is raising a glass to a deal which will see its Scottish gin “eeNoo” available at Co-op stores in communities across Scotland from Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight.

Based in the village of Aboyne on the edge of the Cairngorm National Park, Lost Loch Spirits are known for using locally sourced botanicals including Royal Deeside honey made up of heather, willow herb and clover pollen.

Founded by Peter Dignan and Richard Pierce, Lost Loch released its first bottle of spirits in 2017. Three years on they now celebrate seven unique award-winning spirits plus a spirits school, which won the ‘2020 Best Food & Drink Tourism Experience’, where guests can distil their own creations.

Jay Buckingham, Marketing Manager of Lost Loch, explained: “We are delighted to be working with Co-op. The listing comes at an important time to support our business – the additional awareness, reach and availability from being stocked in our local Co-op and in communities across the country is a huge boost. Our eeNoo gin has just been awarded a Masters Medal from The 2020 Global Spirits Masters – the world’s most highly regarded series of blind tastings competitions. So we are even more confident it will be enjoyed by Co-op customers.”

Kevin Buchan, Co-op Local Sourcing Buying Manager, Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with local distillers, Co-op is all about connecting communities, making a difference and creating value locally, and our work to celebrate and support local suppliers, while promoting and showcasing great Scottish food and drink, is a cornerstone of this approach.”

Shaftesbury Announces Charity Pop Up Installations

September 18th, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Shaftesbury is delighted to announce a series of charity pop up installations to raise funds and awareness for WWF along with Choose Love and the British Fashion Council for London Fashion Week.

Samantha Bain-Mollison, Retail Director at Shaftesbury says: “It’s great to be working with Choose Love once again. Carnaby is at the forefront of supporting new talent in fashion and it’s exciting to work with the designers who are involved in the project and hopefully raise vital funds. We are also proud to be working with Montana Lowery and help her raise awareness of the extinction of animals and to support WWF”.

CHOOSE LOVE – 44 Carnaby Street

Five of the UK’s most exciting designers have created limited edition T-shirts for London Fashion Week which will be on show in the windows of 44 Carnaby Street from the 17th of September and can be bought by scanning a QR code on the windows. The new collection is designed by Ahluwalia, 16Arlington, Tolu Cocker, Nabil Nayal & Olubiyi Thomas. Each designer has contributed new artwork inspired by the signature Choose Love T-shirt design originally gifted to the charity by Katharine Hamnett in 2015.

The T-shirts are priced at £25 with £10 per T-shirt donated to the charity and every penny of their proceeds will go to their projects on the ground, supporting refugees and displaced people in 14 countries.

Hassan Akkad, friend and ambassador of Choose Love, acclaimed journalist and photographer, photographed each of the designers wearing their own T-shirt.

The T-shirts are digitally printed to order in the UK, by social enterprise Teemill, to avoid waste and produced using organic cotton in a factory run on renewable energy.

Fast Extinction – Photography Exhibition by Montana Lowery – 24 Carnaby Street

Photographer Montana Lowery opens her solo exhibition to support WWF on 17th Sept at 24 Carnaby Street. The exhibition features a collection of 15 photographs which will be on display until the 28th Sept.

In the Carnaby exhibition ‘Fast Extinction’, Lowery aims to connect with a fashion forward demographic who may not have had a previous interest or knowledge about the extinction list, climate change or its contributors. By styling models in fashions to represent each of the animals on the current extinction list she wants to challenge the viewer to think more deeply about the way they live.

Lowery’s aim is to encourage the viewer to donate to WWF to protect and conserve these animals and their habitats.

For more information on Choose Love please visit @ChooseLove

More information about Montana can be found here: @MontanaLowery

Follow @CarnabyLondon and visit for full updates, news and information.

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