Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Lotus Group site picked as Crew Clothing’s first Irish outlet

December 5th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Heritage fashion brand opens at The Boulevard, Northern Ireland

One of the UK’s most popular clothing retailers has chosen a Lotus Group site in Northern Ireland as the location of its first ever Irish outlet.

Crew Clothing opened its 1,000 square foot unit on the 21st November. This Ireland -first store will be its 14th outlet site.

Crew Clothing is the eighth retailer to set its sights on The Boulevard this year, which has seen a 15% rise in footfall year-to-date and a 24% increase in sales across the same period. It joins new retailers Levi’s, Radley, Suit Direct, Samsonite and Jack and Jones Junior, amongst more than 50 established brands including Jack Wills and Nike.

Dan O’Callaghan, Sales Director at Crew Clothing, said: “With a strong customer base in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, we have long hoped to find a suitable location for the first Crew store and The Boulevard, a thriving outlet destination for cross border trade, has everything we’re looking for.

“The Boulevard’s shopper demographic is very much akin to our target audience and this opportunity will help us reach brand fans across Ireland. Outlets across the UK are bucking the trend for consumer spend and footfall, and our arrival at The Boulevard will be our fourteenth venture into the outlet shopping sphere.”

Aisling Lenagh, Asset Manager, Lotus Property, commented: “Following significant investment in the scheme, The Boulevard is now one of the most visited retail schemes on the island of Ireland, perfectly positioned close to the Northern Irish border, to capture cross border trade.”

French toy giant PicWicToys launches mobile self-checkout with MishiPay

December 4th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

French toy retailer rolls-out MishiPay’s “Scan, Pay, Play” technology

French toy retailer PicWicToys has announced it is launching MishiPay’s mobile self-checkout solution in its stores. With their new ‘Scan, Pay, Play’ system, customers can simply scan and pay for items using their smartphone, leaving them free to exit the store with their purchases, without any need to queue or wait at a conventional checkout.

For customers shopping with children, waiting in long queues can be even more frustrating and eliminating the need for queuing has been one of the key factors that has driven customers to buy toys online over the last decade. Through the partnership with MishiPay, PicWicToys has committed to creating a frictionless customer experience for shoppers, allowing them to use the smartphone technology they already carry to prevent queues spoiling the enchanting, immersive in-store shopping experience that PicWicToys create.

The partnership with MishiPay will first see their system launched in their popular stores in Lomme, Caen-Mondeville, Villeneuve D’Ascq, St Maximin (Creil) and Le Havre.

Recognising the competitive advantages of some online toy retailers, PicWicToys set about making customer experience one of their priorities for their 63 French stores, and MishiPay’s mobile self-checkout is one of their key initiatives to offer convenience.

Speaking about the launch, Mathieu Charent, Team Leader of Transformation & Innovation of PicWicToys said: “We want to eliminate all friction from the experience of shopping at PicWicToys. In today’s digital world, customers have come to expect a shopping experience that is smooth and enjoyable. Working with MishiPay we have now created a magical customer experience that combines the convenience of online shopping with the excitement of exploring our wonderful toy stores.”

PicWicToys is the latest retailer to partner with award-winning British tech company, MishiPay, following the recent launches with MediaMarktSaturn and Decathlon. Founder and CEO of MishiPay, Mustafa Khanwala, said: “We are delighted to be working with PicWicToys and have seen first-hand their commitment to reinventing retail and creating a frictionless shopping experience for their customers. We are excited to see the impact that our technology will have in their much-loved toy store environment.”

Wirecard ensures a smooth online shopping experience for Playmobil customers

December 4th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

  • Wirecard processes digital payments for Playmobil e-commerce sites across Europe
  • Playmobil benefits from Wirecard’s expertise in the handling of a wide variety of local and international payment methods
  • Consumers enjoy a smooth and flexible checkout experience

Wirecard, a global innovation leader for digital financial technology, and Playmobil are working together to improve the online shopping experience for customers throughout Europe. With help from Wirecard, Playmobil is able to offer and accept a wide variety of local and international payment methods on its e-commerce sites.

“We are proud to support Playmobil as they develop their digitalisation strategy which includes optimising the customer experience in online shops,” explains Vanda Astfäller, Head of Sales Retail at Wirecard. “Not only does Playmobil aim to ensure consistency of product offering both online and in-store but also convenient and flexible payment processes – which we offer via our digital platform. We look forward to expanding our collaboration in the future.”

In order to grow an international e-commerce business and convert one-off shoppers into regular customers, merchants must provide a smooth and reliable purchasing process. Thanks to Wirecard, brands such as Playmobil can not only offer a wide range of digital payment options but also ensure that these payments are processed quickly and reliably for an optimal online checkout experience.

When consumers find their way to a merchant’s e-commerce site, customer experience takes a leading role. According to Gartner, 64% of people find the customer experience to be more important than price when it comes to making a purchasing decision. As the world’s first payment service provider to support more than 200 different local and global payment solutions, Wirecard put together a customised payment mix for Playmobil. Due to a quick acceptance, authentication and processing of digital payments, Wirecard reduces payment friction and ensures a seamless checkout process for Playmobil’s online customers.

First invented by Hans Beck in 1974, Playmobil is a popular line of toys produced by the Brandstätter Group. Over three billion Playmobil figures have been produced, with the toy now being played with by children in over 100 countries worldwide.

Hästens Leverages iPhone and Apple Technology to Transform In-Store Customer Experience

December 4th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Through the power of iPhone and Apple technology, Hästens, a 167 year old company known for its highest quality handmade beds, is reducing the time it takes to order a bed in-store from 30 minutes to just two minutes with iPhone and a new custom Hästens iOS app for sales associates. Worldwide rollout of this solution will commence in early 2020, following successful pilots in London and New York.

Equipped with Hästens product information and configurations on iPhone, the company’s sleep experts will be able to complete the order more quickly and securely using Apple Pay without leaving the customer’s side.

“This important innovation will bring major impact to our consumer, retail partners and stores,” notes Jan Ryde, Hästens fifth-generation CEO for the Swedish-based, family run company. “We have 167 years of mastery in making beds, and are now combining that with the latest technology and custom apps built for store teams to help them do their jobs better and easier. We are making this world a better place by making people sleep the best – and this innovation helps us speed up the process and make it easier for the employee and customer.”

Hästens engaged the iOS and Salesforce skills from Deloitte to build this new iPhone client service and point-of-sale app with the Salesforce Mobile SDK, leveraging Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.

On November 19th, Apple CEO Tim Cook joined Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce event and showcased how Hästens is empowering their partners & retail store teams by developing tools designed for the way people want to work.

Hästens, based in Köping, Sweden, with locations in 46 countries around the world, is known for the highest quality handcrafted beds and its iconic blue check pattern. Jan Ryde, fifth generation CEO, carries the rich company history forward into the future. Founded in 1852 with roots as master saddlers, the company now works together with its retail partners and stores to make this world a better place by making people sleep the best around the world.

Bedeck unveils new brand showroom, officially opened by George Clarke

December 3rd, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Homeware company, Bedeck, has unveiled its new flagship Northern Irish store and trade showroom, officially opened by George Clarke, award-winning architect, television presenter and writer. He cut the ribbon with Bedeck’s Joint Managing Directors, Gary and Andrew Irwin, grandsons of the original founder, Alexander Irwin.

From left: Gary Irwin, George Clarke and Andrew Irwin

Founded in 1951 by Alexander Irwin, originally as a manufacturer of Irish linen handkerchiefs, Bedeck is now one of the worldwide luxury bedlinen suppliers.

Representing the last stage in an 18-month investment programme, the new 5,000 sq ft. custom-built space was designed out of a growing need for more space as the business has grown and features a dedicated presentation area for 25 beds to showcase new seasonal collections. Bedeck manages product development and design of bedlinens, towels and textile accessories for a wide range of internationally recognised brands.

George Clarke and the Bedeck Team

In addition, the new showroom features a Design Archive to house its extensive artwork portfolio. Despite its size and international prowess, Bedeck is one of the last remaining bedlinen providers which still has its own in-house textile design studio, which uses traditional crafts such as painting, block-printing and weaving.

George Clarke with Julie Hall, Head of Design, Bedeck

In addition, the Bedeck Flagship store on the Lisburn Road in Belfast has undergone a thorough refit, re-designed to feature new larger areas for Bedeck of Belfast and Murmur both developed with a third-party product offer to complement and enhance the brands. The refit also showcases further brands from the Bedeck portfolio with a substantial bed, bath and homeware offering.

From left: Gary Irwin, George Clarke and Andrew Irwin at the Bedeck Store, Lisburn Road

Gary Irwin, Joint Managing Director at Bedeck, said:
“We are thrilled to be opening the new showroom on the same plot where our grandfather started the business 68 years ago. The business has organically evolved from selling handkerchiefs to become a global home textiles expert, and this new space marks a new chapter in the history of the company.”

Andrew Irwin, Joint Managing Director added:
“The investment across our retail stores comes out of the need to continue to inspire our customers. We want to create a friendly and pleasant environment for both staff and customers and ensure they have a positive shopping experience. As a business we feel it is important to constantly evolve and refine our stores to stay relevant within the current pressurised retail environment.”

Food for thought: logistics are the key to unlocking recipe box success

December 3rd, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

By Darren Taylor, Business Solutions Director, CitySprint

Increasingly time-poor, digitally enabled and with infinite choice, people today are hungry for fresh, innovative and convenient experiences — in all aspects of their lives.

A sector which has sprung up in response to this demand for convenience over the last few years is home food delivery and, more specifically, the recipe box market. Consider this: a decade ago, the idea of getting everything you need to put together a delicious home-cooked meal delivered to your door, seemed too good to be true. Since then, it has become one of the fastest-growing categories of online shopping.

Today, the world of recipe boxes is as diverse as a spice rack — with something to suit every palate and dietary requirement. From veggie boxes or meals aimed at weight loss, to quick and simple recipes perfect for couples or a whole family, one thing holds true for all box options — they offer a more convenient and time-saving alternative to shoppers than having to plan, prepare and shop for their weekly meals.

With demand skyrocketing and expectations constantly on the rise, it’s crucial that recipe box companies offer their customers a flexible, fast and seamless delivery, or else lose out to competitors. This is something that’s clearly understood by two of our clients — Gousto and Fresh Fitness Foods.

Founded in 2012, Gousto has grown at an astonishing rate over the last few years — most recently securing £30 million to support further growth and innovation. Delivering more than 1.5 million meals to customers each month, they recognise just how crucial flexible, fast and transparent delivery is to the success of their business.

For Gousto, the goal is simple: to place their customers at the heart of their offer by prioritising customer experience — both online and during delivery — all year round. They joined forces with us last year as part of their aim to deliver an excellent customer experience and top-class delivery performance. Gousto’s customers are always at the very centre of the delivery solution — a strategy which has seen us achieve delivery success levels of 99.8%. As a result, Gousto have extended their partnership with us from just Sundays to 7 days a week in response to customer demand; this includes free delivery, or the choice of a morning or evening slot.

Meanwhile, Fresh Fitness Foods offers fresh, quality food designed around their customer’s fitness goals — be that losing weight, building muscle, testing their psychological limits, or simply living a healthier, energised and more balanced lifestyle. To accomplish this, Fresh Fitness Food’s plans are tailored to achieve rapid, consistent and long-lasting results. Daily deliveries are scheduled between midnight and 6am to a clients’ home, gym or office in a cooler bag so that their fuel for the day ahead is ready to go as soon as they are.

Our partnership with Fresh Fitness Foods is all about boosting transparency and convenience to the next level. We integrated with the back-end of their website, enabling customers to receive notifications throughout the delivery journey of their order. Since the integration, Fresh Fitness Food have seen double digit growth with fewer queries regarding orders as the notifications keep customer informed.

What these cases highlight is that there’s a massive opportunity at the moment for businesses which make lives easier for people and convenient deliveries are increasingly a key differentiator. After all, customers will always appreciate a service that fits in around their busy lives. With competition increasing, companies need to seize the opportunity to showcase an optimised and convenient fulfilment offering at every turn.

Canteen at London Transport Museum now open

December 3rd, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

  • Quintessentially British classics inspired menu
  • Contemporary new space reflecting the rich design heritage of London Transport
  • All day dining and bar – from breakfast to pre-theatre meals and cocktails
  • New cocktail: the Elizabeth Line
  • Children’s menu, including locomotive shaped pasta
  • Fabulous views of Covent Garden Piazza

It’s All Change! at London Transport Museum as a new cafe bar overlooking Covent Garden Piazza opened on 29th November 2019. Canteen at London Transport Museum takes its name from the static and mobile canteens that used to cater for London Transport workers during the 1940s and 1950s.

Run by high-street favourite Benugo, Canteen offers an all-day menu that features British classics, and cocktails that pay homage to iconic moments in the development of London’s transport network – the Elizabeth Line and the Routemaster.

The stylish interior celebrates London Transport’s design legacy as one of the world’s most recognisable brands, making use of iconic poster artwork, Tube maps, reclaimed signs, tiles and original seats. Light fittings include some that were planned, but never installed at Embankment station. These reflect the design of the Bostwick gate which is used to secure Tube stations during closing hours, and down lighters from the Bond Street station upgrade project. Canteen also features wooden benches that were found in the basements of Wembley Park and Gloucester Road stations as well as salvaged luggage racks from 1960s decommissioned A stock trains. And Mind the Gap! as you grab that Instagrammable moment on the train track floor graphic!

Canteen is open to the public as well as visitors to the Museum from 09:30 to 19:30 Wednesday to Saturday and 09:30 to 18:30 Sunday to Tuesday. Visitors can enjoy breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, pre-theatre dining, nibbles or just drinks from the bar, and a special menu for children including Locomotive shaped pasta.

For those wishing to visit the Museum tickets cost £18.00 (concessions £17.00) or £16.50 (concessions £15.50) if booked online. Kids go free and adult tickets allow unlimited daytime entry to all of London Transport Museum’s galleries for a whole year – including the Museum’s new Hidden London temporary exhibition.

Waste trial hailed a success as food goes from bin to win

December 2nd, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

In just six months, more than 600 boxes of bread, pastries, fruit and vegetables have been diverted from waste and transformed into hundreds of meals on the Isle of Wight.

Half a year into a new trial between The Co-operative Food in Freshwater and The Real Junk Food Project IOW, the partnership has already made a significant difference to the community.

Organiser of The Real Junk Food Project IOW, Faith Stickland said that the food donations have been turned into hundreds of three-course meals, filled dozens of lunch boxes and supported a number of struggling families via the foodbank.

The Real Junk Food Project IOW, currently partners with a number of food stores and local producers to prevent useable products going to landfill including food, toiletries and cleaning products.

Organisers use the donated products in three different ways – in a monthly community Meet and Eat at St Saviours Church in Totland run by Timebank volunteers; to make daily collections of products available to the public on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis at the West Wight Sport and Community Centre; and through a new lunchbox scheme during school holidays.

Faith said: “None of this would have happened without the Southern Co-op store in Freshwater being prepared to do extra work helping sort food out that would otherwise have been thrown away.

“The Store Manager Neil has been exceptional. He has come to our Meet and Eats on two occasions bringing a colleague with him to show how the food is being made good use of.

“I’d also like to say a big thank you to Sally from Timebank who initiated the Meet and Eat cook ups and covers the costs. We are a very caring community. It becomes infectious! Thank you for your part in all this.”

Other supporters include Sainsbury’s Local, Freshwater, and The Village Store, in Brighstone, which all supply food that can safely be offered to the community.

The Co-operative Food store in Freshwater is part of Southern Co-op – the regional, independent co-operative.

Southern Co-op has been working with all of its convenience stores to reduce the amount of waste but its Freshwater store, due to its larger supermarket size, has the ability to make more donations to the Real Junk Food Project IOW.

Neil Riley, Store Manager, said: “From a store perspective it has been a big success. The processes are very well embedded and the communication is very open and honest.

“We understand that this is a team effort. The social implications of the food we donate have been far reaching. From the occasional involvement I have had with some of the programmes, I think it’s obvious to see the great success this partnership has been.

“I’m immensely proud to be a part of the Real Junk Food Project Isle of Wight network and especially proud we have been able to support Faith in her endeavours. She truly is an inspirational woman with a passion for doing good in her community.”

The store currently donates around nine boxes and tubs of fruit, vegetables, pastries and bread three times a week which works out more than 700 in the first six months.

During half terms, the number of donations and pick ups are increased to support the half term lunchbox drive which helps support families to feed their children during the school holidays.

Launched in the summer, the programme initially ran for 17 days and 148 boxes were made up with a variety of goodies cakes, pastries, chocolate biscuits, crisps and more nutritional content from rolls and sandwiches with protein and salad.

During the October half term, Freshwater Methodist Church offered a venue to run the Lunchbox project from and, with thanks to Timebank volunteers, it provided soup and sarnies for 119 lunchboxes.

It was also used as an opportunity to talk to children about food waste including learning the difference between use by dates and best before dates.

To find out more about the projects run by the real Junk Food Project IOW, email

Liverpool ONE Aces Kate Spade New York Christmas Pop-Up Store

December 2nd, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Luxury life and style brand, Kate Spade New York, has officially selected Liverpool ONE, managed by Grosvenor Europe, for the launch of the global style house’s only dedicated pop-up store in the UK.

The New York City-based brand has hand-picked a 2,625 sq ft unit on Peter’s Lane to be the first boutique outside of London and Scotland. Opening on 6 December 2019, the pop-up will house Kate Spade New York’s collection of optimistic and feminine lifestyle accessories, including the brand’s iconic handbags, attire, shoes, jewellery, homeware and tech accessories.

Since launching in 1993 with six essential handbag designs, Kate Spade New York has grown into a global fashion house synonymous with polished ease and sophisticated femininity. The pop-up store will be fitted out with the brand’s signature tonal shades of pink, rose gold and deep green with mixed materials including marble, velvet and metal.

Alison Clegg, Director, Asset Management, Grosvenor Europe, commented on the signing: “Peter’s Lane is now well-established and curated hub for global luxury names, which is reflected by this Kate Spade New York signing. This is the latest in a series of premium retailers to seek out the destination, including ROX Jewellers boutique and Mint Velvet. The pop-up store will add to the festive atmosphere we are creating throughout the destination and give visitors another reason to love Liverpool ONE.”

Nicola Glass, Creative Director of Kate Spade New York, added: “We’re incredibly proud to be unveiling our new shop at Liverpool ONE, our brand and everything we make are a celebration of women—their personal style, confidence and realness. I’ve seen so much opportunity to evolve the brand since I started, and for me this new retail vision that customers will see reflected in this pop-up, is a much more modern expression of our original DNA and personality. We’re excited to be sharing our vision of optimistic femininity with Liverpool shopper, just in time for the holiday season.”

The announcement of the Kate Spade New York boutique coincides with the re-opening of Footasylum on Paradise Street on Friday 29 November, following a complete re-fit of its existing 16,973 sq ft store to become the brand’s latest flagship site.

This news also follows the recent announcements that international womenswear label Mint Velvet has also signed at Liverpool ONE’s Peter’s Lane, marking the brand’s debut in the city, while luxury jewellers ROX have selected the destination for its regional flagship.

Cushman and Wakefield and Metis acted for Liverpool ONE. SPACE Retail Property Consultants represented Kate Spade New York.

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