Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

David Knowles wins Rado Star Prize UK 2018 at designjunction 2018

September 21st, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

At an exclusive event held in the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf on Thursday 20 September, Rado and designjunction announced the winner of the second edition of the Rado Star Prize UK. The Jury Prize was awarded to David Knowles, who impressed the judges with his entry “GC18”.

“It has been a great opportunity to showcase my design at Rado Star Prize UK. I am honoured to win the award, especially to have been judged by a panel I admire so much. I hope this will be the start of setting up my design career” comments David Knowles, winner of Rado Star Prize UK 2018.

David Knowles, a 3D Design student from Northumbria University received £5,000 and a True Thinline Plasma as a prize for his winning project. GC18 was selected from a shortlist of ten designs, with each entry responding to the theme ‘On Time/Time Off’. The theme explores the concept of passing time, enriching life, and products that enhance user’s awareness of where they spend their time.

Rado CEO Matthias Breschan commented: “The creativity and thought present in this year’s Rado Star Prize UK entries is very impressive. I am pleased that Rado can help to promote the work of young designers such as David, the Rado Star Prize UK is a great example of Rado’s continued dedication to design.”

“This second edition of the Rado Star Prize UK has challenged the judges with a fantastic selection of projects” commented designjunction Event Director, Will Sorrell.

The stellar line-up of judges who selected the winner included award-winning designer Bethan Gray; Head of Design at John Lewis Philippa Prinsloo; Vice President of Product Management at Rado Hakim El Kadiri; Founder of Arts Thread Katie Dominy and designjunction Event Director Will Sorrell.

Public Vote Prize
Visitors to designjunction can also vote for their favourite project to win the public prize from the 10 shortlisted designs on exhibition at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf. It is also possible to vote online at

Voting will close at 5pm on Sunday 23rd September and the Public Prize winner will be announced on Tuesday 26th September. The winner will receive a Rado timepiece as a prize for his/her achievement. For more information visit and

Vibrant Autumn Fair 2018 challenges retail doom and gloom

September 21st, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

  • Upbeat and positive vibe at Autumn Fair suggests optimistic retail outlook
  • Visitor flow improved and buying opportunities enhanced in 2019 plans, as Autumn Fair becomes ‘sourcing destination for all of retail’
  • Investment following ITE Plc acquisition will see 2019 benefit from a major re-edit

Autumn Fair 2018 saw 1,200 exhibitors take over Birmingham’s NEC for five days of negotiation and inspiration. Over 200,000 new products were showcased, with buyers attending stocking up for the festive period and the Spring season, including Mother’s Day and Easter.

The retail community came together ahead of the Golden Quarter with buyers, visual merchandisers and owners from independent, multis, e-tailers, tourist and leisure destinations all in attendance. These included visitors from Amazon, Asos, Boots, Celebrations, Dufry, Groupon, John Lewis, Joy, Kilkenny Group, Marks and Spencer, Merlin Entertainments, Natural History Museum, Next, Ocado, Tesco, The Hut Group, TK Maxx, Wayfair, Wyevale Garden Centres, ZSL and many more.

Su Gill, Group Buyer at Morleys Stores Group, said: “I was able to see sensational product presented in the way that the brand would want it to be seen. I placed a large Christmas order with Ty at the show. If I hadn’t come to the show, I wouldn’t have been able to buy this product.”

At the Fair’s four live theatres, buyers could gain valuable market insights and updates on current trends that are driving consumer spending throughout the Golden Quarter and beyond.

Visitors to the main stage had the unique opportunity to hear from two leading lights in the retail sector in Dragons Den’s own Theo Paphitis, whose retail empire covers 350 stores and employs over 4,000 people, and’s Holly Tucker. They both shared insights from their personal journeys, as well as their advice and predictions for the upcoming year.

Autumn Fair 2018 also saw the introduction of a dedicated section for the best of Theo Paphitis’ #SBS (Small Business Sunday) community. Designed specifically to celebrate the endeavours of independent start-ups, the showcase got off to an impressive start with many exhibitors reporting orders even before arriving at Autumn Fair.

Theo Paphitis tweeted straight after his visit to the show to say: “Autumn Fair’s been brilliant for this year’s #SBS winners. They’ve had a great time in there, met loads of new contacts and made some money!”

Julie Shields, the Founder of Dimpled Heart said “The Fair’s been amazing, we’ve got loads of great feedback and lots of orders to follow up on. We’re excited to be part of the show because of Theo Paphitis and the #SBS pavilion, but also because we had been approached by stores before we even arrived because of the marketing which was a real bonus.”

Helping bring buyers and sellers together was further enhanced this year with the investment and introduction of the Autumn Fair Product Match – 63,955 products and people recommendations and 17,410 matches. There was a real buzz onsite as visitors were also given the opportunity to pick up a free glass of Prosecco if they found a match at Autumn Fair – posting their selfies from a Product Match wall using the hashtag #fairmatch.

For the first time, buyers were also able to sample the offering of new Global Handicraft and DesignFirst showcases. At Global Handicraft, international artisanal manufacturers were given access to the UK’s £358bn retail sector. Visitors to the showcase were able to get hands-on with everything from soft furnishings to textiles; jewellery to home décor; and ceramics to lighting.

Offering an insight into some of the UK’s most quirky and unique manufacturers, DesignFirst saw innovative manufacturers from three show sectors display everything from artisanal soaps to handmade jewellery. Sharing little more than a penchant for alternative ideas, the DesignFirst exhibitors introduced buyers to a new world of new-to-market, original products.

Tracey, Co-owner at DesignFirst exhibitor, The Sugar Shed said: “It’s been fantastic to see how many independent retailers have come to see us. Autumn Fair’s been a great place to trial our gift vouchers, which we’ve been hearing some good feedback on. We’ll be coming back next year.”

Across key 2018 sectors, Children’s Toys & Gifts and Home, feedback was positive, with exhibitors reporting exciting sales figures and increased interest.

Michelle Probert, Sales and Marketing Manager at Juratoy said: “Autumn Fair has been fantastic – our best show so far this year! We’ve seen our order values soar by over 100%, which is better than we could ever have expected. Both the quality and quantity of customers has been very good. It’s also meant a lot to us to have received plenty of positive feedback on our stand.”

James Ellis, Managing Director of Ancient Mariner Furniture said: “It’s been a well-attended show – we’ve been really busy. We’ve seen a good mix of smaller and larger buyers, existing and new customers. Particularly when it comes to finding new customers, Autumn Fair just offers something that the dedicated furniture shows just don’t. Over the year’s Autumn Fair’s been great for lifting our profile.”

Louise Young, Managing Director, Spring & Autumn Fair said: “Off the back of what was a flat summer of trading for retailers, buyers came ready to be inspired by ranges for the up and coming major sell though periods for retail. It’s simply good news for all of retail that suppliers and retailers have come together to make this year’s Autumn Fair a commercial success for those that visited and exhibited – it’s a good barometer for the Christmas trading period and into Spring.”

Exhibitors may have also been inspired to secure their space for next year in response to the announcement of a major investment programme in Autumn Fair, by new owners ITE Plc.

The newly organised halls will improve visitor flow and facilitate greater crossover buying opportunities, delivering an Autumn Fair that will be the ‘sourcing destination for all of retail’, with content that will encourage multiples to source more private label/own brand with exhibitors at the show.  In addition, a new investment programme will focus on increasing attendance from online and international retailers.

“Looking forward, market leader Autumn Fair is evolving as we embrace the structural changes in the market. Consumers have not stopped buying goods but how they buy has changed.” Young continues.

“In 2019, both Spring and Autumn Fair are well positioned to continue providing a unique proposition for retailers. With the new re-edit plans we’re looking to really optimise the fair experience for both visitors and exhibitors, including updating show sectors to present real opportunities for crossover buying and better enabled networking. As the hub for ‘all of retail’, 2019 will offer buyers tangible profitable insight that will help them stay ahead of the curve.”

Potential exhibitors can also apply for a stand through Autumn Fair’s website.

Retailers are encouraged to register now for Spring Fair, scheduled for 3-7 February 2019.

London Fashion Week brings 68% Saturday sales boost to independent fashion stores

September 21st, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Local fashion retailers will be celebrating London Fashion Week for more than its design inspiration, after seeing sales on Saturday jump by 68% compared to the previous month, and increase by 24% over the week compared to Fashion Week last year.

Sales data from leading retail management software Vend, which works with hundreds of London’s independent retailers, also found that it wasn’t just fashion stores who profited from Fashion Week this year.

Spending across all types of London retail stores increased by 42% over the past week compared to Fashion Week last year, while sales figures were also up 4% on August. And the Saturday of Fashion Week was the biggest spending day of the past month by quite a margin – growing by 64% on Saturday alone, compared to the August average.

“There’s a big halo effect that events like Fashion Week create for our high street stores, not to mention an influx of style-savvy shoppers. And while it’s all about big-name designers and large fashion brands on the runway, our independent retailers are also on show as shoppers get to explore the amazing products they create and sell, and the unique customer experiences they provide. With September said to be the biggest month for retailers outside of Christmas, it’s really great to see local stores getting a boost this past week,” says Higor Torchia, Country Manager for Vend UK.

Other retailers that saw a significant jump to sales compared to August were homewares and gifts (21%), speciality food and beverage (14%), and hobby and leisure retailers (which includes sewing and fabric stores, and bookstores) (14%).

Paris Retail Awards 2018: Recognising key players in connected commerce

September 20th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Paris Retail Week, the biggest 360° retail event in Europe, hosted the Paris Retail Awards at the end of day one, on 10th September. The competition unveiled and recognised some of the top innovations and projects in connected retailing.

The winners were selected according to the following: innovation, efficacy and profitability.

Each nominated company provided effective responses to issues faced by e-retailers, high-street retailers and brands in general. For this year’s event, a new award was created for the Most Promising Newcomer,  placing emphasis on companies that are helping to boost French prestige overseas. The Rookie of the Year Award was given by the public to the start-up with the biggest appeal.

The highly anticipated ceremony was hosted by Céline Del Genes – Concept To Consumer Vice-President at Adidas HQ. The jury, made up of 19 recognised professionals from the retail industry, was asked to select the most inspirational projects from 22 finalists announced last July.

The 2018 selection focused on the most promising innovations in on- and off-line retailing in five categories: CRM – from a lead to the client, point-of-sale digitalisation, 360° customer experience, logistics and technology.

A Jury prize, a Winner of the Winner’s prize and a French Initiative prize were also awarded, as well as a prize specifically for start-ups, as voted by the public.

In total, ten awards were given;

✓ 5 prize winners (1 per category)

✓ 1 winner of the winner’s prize: the Paris Retail Golden Award

✓ 1 French Initiative prize

✓ 2 Jury prizes

✓ 1 start-up prize: the Rookie Of The Year (special jury and public vote)

Céline Del Genes, Football Concept to Consumer Global Vice-President at Adidas and President of the jury, commented: “The market is experiencing a dynamic period thanks to digital transformation and a wide range of new technological solutions. The jury appreciated the diversity of the competing projects, and the debates were fascinating. This energy is definitely reflected in the prize list at the Paris Retail Awards 2018!”

Arnaud Gallet, Director of Paris Retail Week, commented:  “Retailers are aware of the new issues in their sector and the importance of taking on board solutions that are adapted to the market. This is why they are attentive to the innovations on offer all through the season, especially since they have the backing of the profession. The Paris Retail Awards are a part of this recognition approach, with the aim of providing a real guarantee of credibility,”


CATEGORY: CRM: from the lead to the customer

Winner: NOTIFY – Best time to push / Best time to call

Revolution of the customer relationship of 40M unique monthly profiles of 300 media partners


CATEGORY: Digitisation of point of sale

Winner: ANGUS.AI – Pogkeeper

Real-time availability of shop stock, stock shortages and readjustments


CATEGORY: Customer Experience (360)

Winner: SMARTLY.IO – Video Template Editor

Create adverts on Facebook and Instagram Stories, 1 million videos made


CATEGORY: Logistics


After-sales service management via an omnichannel SaaS platform based on an AI engine,

360° vision of goods


CATEGORY: Technology

Winner: SELLERMANIA – Pricing Dynamique Marketplace Prems

Dynamic calculation of sales prices for marketplace sellers


Special awards

Jury’s favourite #1

Winner: MERITO

Recruitment platform for shops, secondment of employees or employee sharing


Jury’s favourite #2

Winner: CAPITALDATA – Innovative Business Transformation Solutions

Rookie of the Year Award

The Rookie Of The Year Award is given to an outstanding young start-up and helps to highlight an innovative and promising concept. The three finalists, Mérito, Néos and Arcane, who were pre-selected by the jury, each pitched to the Paris Retail Awards audience, including professionals from connected retailing, potential customers and investors.

This year’s winner was Merito. Marion Oliveira, co-founder of Merito, explained how the platform pools employees between stores. This form of uberisation without insecurity means managers can access the right team at the right time.

The Paris Retail Awards have seen the rise of small but promising French enterprises, such as Criteo and Hybris, enabling retail firms to boost brand awareness, to reward the efforts of all their teams, to launch new contracts, and even, as was the case for prize-winners in previous years, to raise new funds.

Expansion of integrated leisure offer boosts trading and attracts new brands to Springfields Outlet

September 20th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

  • Total revenue up +10%, YoY
  • Total footfall increased by +9%, YoY
  • Fashion offer expands with Joules, White Stuff and Estee Lauder opening at 200,000 sq ft destination

Following 13 consecutive years of revenue growth since opening in 2004, Springfields Outlet has reinforced its position as the leading shopping and leisure destination in the East of England with a significant rise in both like-for-like footfall and revenue over the school summer holiday period.

The trading boost follows the recent opening of an integrated leisure offer, branded Springfields Adventure Land, comprising of eight themed attractions including; the largest JCB Young Driver’s Zone in the country, bespoke Tree Top Village with nine towers and a huge 140 sqm Sky Net. This unique initiative follows many others such as a water taxi link to the town centre and computer-controlled fountains, all set in an award-winning environment. Additionally, the scheme has signed three top brands, Joules, Estee Lauder and White Stuff, to join its line-up.

Over the school Summer holidays in August, total footfall to the outlet centre increased by +9% with Bank Holiday footfall lifting +32%  year-on-year. Total revenue jumped +10% ahead of last year for the period and +23% on Bank Holiday Monday, whilst 65% of retailers traded up by as much as +47% YOY. This contrasts with UK high street sales nationally in August that declined by -2.7% YoY, according to business consultancy, BDO that described the period as one of the worst on record nationally.

The combination of outlet shopping, featuring more than 50 top-name brands, and integrated leisure and dining has increasingly attracted visitors looking for a memorable family day-out to the scheme which is owned by the Triton Property Fund, managed by UBS. Research by Pragma Consulting shows that the inclusion of leisure is increasingly important in driving footfall to a scheme.

Ian Sanderson, Director of SLR, market leader in the leisure-based outlet sector who developed the scheme, said: “As outlets continue to go mainstream and attract more customers, the importance of creating a destination that appeals to the whole family increases. We are pleased to see that customers are visiting the scheme from further afield and are staying for longer, to the benefit of our retailers and f&b operators. This has been reflected in greater interest from strong brands and the three new signings announced in the past two months typify this.”

UK-based premium lifestyle brand Joules has agreed a 3,345 sq ft unit, and White Stuff, known for its versatile clothing in original and unique prints, has signed for a 2,006 sq ft store. The new deals take the number of signings since Adventure Land opened to three, joining The Cosmetics Company Store, part of the Estee Lauder Companies, which opened its first store in Lincolnshire at Springfields Outlet earlier in the summer.

The scheme is host to a number of top retail brands such as Fat Face, Next, Skechers, GAP, Ernest Jones, Radley and M&S. Casual dining restaurants and ‘grab-and-go’ operators centred around four eye-catching plazas complement the shopping and leisure experience and include Frankie & Benny’s, Starbucks, Costa Coffee and the newly-opened, developer-operated Springy’s American Diner.

Agents for Springfields Outlet are Knight Frank and SPACE Retail Property Consultants.

Levi Roots addresses retailers at Meadowhall

September 20th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Award-winning entrepreneur and celebrity chef, Levi Roots, addressed retailers and local businesses on 17 September at Meadowhall, as part of Welcome to Yorkshire’s ‘Start up to International Brand’ Retail Masterclass.

Several leading brands, including Topshop, Fula Flavour and Lottie Shaw’s, attended the event, hosted by Meadowhall to hear from Dragon’s Den entrepreneur, Levi Roots, famous for his Reggae Reggae sauce, ITV’s ‘Eat, Shop, Save’, Kate Hardcastle MBE, Darren Abbott from Joe Browns, and Darren Pearce, Meadowhall’s Centre Director, for a unique retail seminar. The purpose of the retail seminar was to celebrate some of Yorkshire’s most esteemed local businesses and discuss the best approaches to running a successful retail business. The high- profile entrepreneurs called on their experience as they discussed building internationally-renowned brands, providing local retailers with an insight into their successes, as well as answering questions from the assembled guests.

Meadowhall’s Centre Director, Darren Pearce discussed how Meadowhall works to support over 290 retailers at the centre. Joe Browns’ Finance Director, Darren Abbott discussed how the brand, which used to be purely online, opened its first store late last year. Abbott highlighted Meadowhall’s location, high footfall and the recent £60 million transformation as key reasons to why they chose Meadowhall to move from being an online retailer into an omni-channel business.

Levi Roots, said: “I am delighted to be supporting businesses of all sizes and speaking to them about my own path to success. I’m passionate about business and I remember just how challenging it can be as a start-up. By offering practical advice we hope there will be learnings that the audience can put in place straight away.”

Jonathan Brookes, Asset Manager, British Land, added: “We’re very grateful to Levi Roots, Darren Abbott and Kate Hardcastle for coming to Meadowhall and sharing their insight and knowledge with our occupiers and the local community. Welcome to Yorkshire’s Retail Masterclass is a great initiative to support businesses and promote this great region.”

The Meadowhall Retail Masterclass was the fourth in a series organised by Welcome to Yorkshire.

Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity DL, also commented: “Meadowhall was the perfect venue to host our Retail Masterclass. Over 50 local retailers attended, who made the most of the networking opportunities on offer and enjoyed hearing from four great speakers, including Kate Hardcastle MBE and the inspirational Levi Roots. It was fantastic to see such a great turn out at Sheffield’s leading shopping and leisure destination.”


September 19th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The St David’s Partnership, owners of St David’s in Cardiff, one of the UK’s premier retail and leisure destinations, has today revealed that international fashion label, Bershka, has selected St David’s for a new 11,190 sq ft store, a first for the brand in Wales.

Bershka will be located on Upper Grand Arcade, adjacent to the regional flagship H&M and will join the new Stradivarius store that opened in April.  Established in 1998, Bershka has grown into a multinational brand with 1000 stores in over 70 markets around the world, and an online store stocking the latest trends in clothing, footwear and accessories for men and women. The store is set to launch soon at St David’s.

Speaking on behalf of the St David’s Partnership, a joint venture between Landsec and intu, Colin Flinn, regional managing director – west, commented on the addition: “The status of St David’s as the region’s leading fashion destination is further enhanced by the signing of international brand Bershka.  Upper Grand Arcade continues to attract leading names in fashion and we look forward to welcoming Bershka into a trend-setting space with which the brand is synonymous.”

This follows the recent opening of international watch brand Daniel Wellington who opened their first UK store outside of London at St David’s. The new 430 sq ft regional icon store stocks the brand’s range of classic and elegant time-pieces. This summer, global luxury automobile brand, Mercedes-Benz, returned to the centre to launch a seasonal pop-up.

JLL and Cushman & Wakefield advised the St David’s Partnership. Bershka represented themselves.

US make-up brand Morphe signs for first store outside of London at Bullring

September 19th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Hammerson has announced that US beauty retailer, Morphe Cosmetics, is to open its first store outside of London and second in the UK at the Bullring Estate, Birmingham’s iconic shopping destination comprising Bullring, Grand Central and Link Street.  The US make-up brand will take a 3,300 sq ft unit on the middle level of the Bullring, alongside leading fashion brands Mango and H&M.

Morphe is known for its full spectrum of professional quality tools and make-up plus other Morphe family of brands such as Jeffree Star Cosmetics. Morphe products include more than 300 brushes and highly coveted palettes, featuring influencer collaborations such as the best-selling Jaclyn Hill Eyeshade Palette.

Established in LA in 2008, the US company is recognised by beauty bloggers as the ‘beauty brand created for the creators’. While Morphe make-up products are already available to UK customers on the website and select retail partners such as Cult Beauty, the highly sought-after product range will be immediately available to customers at the new Bullring store from late autumn 2018.

Iain Mitchell, Commercial Director at Hammerson commented: “This is another first outside of London for Hammerson, Bullring and Birmingham. The leading US beauty brand fully recognises the value flagship destinations play in developing both brand profile and sales. We are looking forward to working with Morphe to support a highly successful launch.”

Mark Spillman, Morphe Regional Manager EMEA, added: “We are excited to open our second Morphe UK store at Birmingham’s leading retail destination. Having received an overwhelming response from UK customers ordering our products online, the Bullring is the perfect destination for our loyal customers to visit, experiment, and enjoy the full assortment from our growing brand.”

The news follows the recent opening of the global make-up brand NYX Professional Make-Up,, located on the ground floor of the Bullring. The 1,700 sq ft store opened in June and offers a range of professional beauty products.

This month also marks the 15th birthday of the Bullring, now one of Europe’s most successful shopping and dining destinations with a footfall of over 36 million a year. On opening, Bullring brought 53 new brands to the city, with more than 50 of the original brands continuing to trade there including Selfridges, Zara and Molton Brown. Over the last 15 years, the numbers of restaurants, aspirational brands and consumer brands at the centre have doubled.

intu and ADI introduce play as you shop video games to Revo 2018

September 19th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

New technology that lets people compete in giant video games whilst they shop is being showcased by shopping centre owner intu and big screen specialists ADI this week.

Attendees of retail property conference Revo will be able to take part in a series of multiplayer games running on ADI’s massive 150 sq m 4K screen using their mobile phone as controllers, following a trial at intu Merry Hill earlier in the year.

intu has been working with Rhythm, the start-up behind the technology, as part of its drive to introduce more game-changing technologies to the retail sector.

Hundreds of people took part in the intu Merry Hill trial in July which sought to test how Rhythm’s product Piing, which creates multiplayer games for up to 200 people at time, could drive up footfall, attract younger shoppers and benefit retailers.

It was one of seven new technologies to be trialled at intu shopping centres and online at over the summer as part of start-up incubator programme, intu Accelerate.

Other companies to take part in intu Accelerate this year included Greendeck which uses AI to help fashion brands and retailers automatically classify products into categories and was crowned ‘start-up of the year’ in Retail Week’s Tech. Awards 2018 last week.

David Fischel, intu chief executive, said: “We’re continuing to explore how technology could offer our customers an even better experience and create new opportunities for our retailers to thrive. intu Accelerate is empowering our business to find more ways to innovate in partnership with some of the smartest start-up companies out there.

“Hundreds of shoppers can take part in any one of these games at a time and this created a real sense of excitement among shoppers when we trialled the technology at intu Merry Hill earlier this year. Retailers were also quick to get behind the initiative by providing plenty of prizes for those taking part so we think this is something we can build on with future trials.”

Drew Burrow, ADI’s Business Development Manager, commented, “Thriving retail destinations are focusing on creating a more immersive and interactive experience, and our LED screens and digital canvases are the ideal platform to deliver them. Further to the successful trial at intu Merry Hill on our Epoch screen, we’re thrilled to work with Rhythm and intu in bringing multiplayer video gaming to REVO 2018 on a huge-scale.”

intu also became the first shopping centre landlord to introduce its own shoppable visual search tool this year, which matches up pictures with products from more than 500 retailers selling on, and has run a succession of virtual reality and augmented reality experiences in its centres.

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