REAL ESTATE

Canada’s Joe Fresh makes U.S. debut

BY Staff Writer

Toronto — Joe Fresh, the Canadian value-priced apparel brand, has opened its first permanent U.S. store, in Bridgewater Mall, Bridgewater, N.J., and another in Roosevelt Field Mall, Garden City, N.Y. The company will make its New York City debut, in Manhattan’s Flat Iron District, on Nov.3. A second store will open in spring, on Fifth Ave.

In addition, the retailer is opening two Joe Fresh Holiday Fashion pop-up stores in Manhattan. (This past summer, the brand operated a summer pop-up in East Hampton, N.Y.)

Designed by the Canadian firm Burdifilek, the stores have a neutral backdrop that highlights the merchandise. The selection includes apparel and accessories for women and men; the Bridgewater location also features the brand’s kids’ collection.

Joe Fresh, part of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., is available in more than 300 Loblaw stores across Canada and also in 10 standalone locations.

Joe Fresh was created by Joseph Mimran, who founded Club Monaco in 1985. In 1999, he sold the company to Polo Ralph Lauren.

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REAL ESTATE

L.K. Bennett opens in New Jersey

BY Staff Writer

New York City — British fashion retailer L.K.Bennett, opened its third U.S. boutique, at The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack, N. J.

“We have over 100 stores in the UK. now — and in the long term weʼd like to have the same number of stores in the U.S.,” said Robert Bensoussan, CEO London.

The storeʼs design creates an elegant and welcoming environment that reflects the sophisticated persona of L.K. Bennettʼs collections. Set against a soft powder pink backdrop and delicate beige woodwork, bespoke display units with mirror finish, rich woolen carpets and fifties-inspired Swedish furnishings create a relaxed, modern romantic atmosphere.

The brand also has stores in Chicago and Atlanta, along with in-store shops in Bloomingdale’s.

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OPERATIONS

Study: Retailers not engaging mobile shoppers

BY Staff Writer

New York City — While 43% of smartphone owners have installed and used a retailer’s app, only 14% of those who installed them say the app led to a purchase decision, according to the most recent Retrevo Pulse Study, an ongoing study of tech industry trends conducted for the consumer electronics shopping and review site.

"Retrevo’s findings indicate that customers are willing to download and use retailer’s mobile apps," said Manish Rathi, co-founder and VP marketing Retrevo.com. "But when only 14% of the installed base actually indicates it ‘helped them buy something,’ it’s time for retailers to rethink their mobile engagement strategy. In today’s market where many brick-and-mortar retailers are trying to stay competitive, retailers can’t afford to merely serve as a showroom for Amazon."

The study found nearly two-thirds (66%) of respondents have looked at a product in a store and then made the purchase online from somewhere else. The number of "defectors" jumps to more than three quarters (78%) for smartphone owners who may have an easier time doing research wherever they happen to be.

Electronics was the category mentioned most, with 58% of shoppers checking out the (58%) this type product in the store and then buying it somewhere else online. The next category on this list is shoes (41%) followed by apparel (39%). According to Retrevo, retailers need to aggressively find a way to persuade smartphone owners to make their purchases in the store or at least buy from them online.

More than half the smartphone respondents in this study indicated they have used a mobile device in a store to help them buy something. Most of those used their phones to check prices and get coupons but many also looked up ratings and reviews on products they were considering buying before making the big decision.

According to Retrevo, smartphones don’t have to be the enemy of retailers.

"Our message to retailers," Rathi said, "is: Get your app together! A carefully crafted app can help provide consumers the information they need to make them want to buy something."

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