REAL ESTATE

Chico’s FAS enters Canada with White House Black Market

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Chico’s FAS is expanding outside of the United States, opening a White House | Black Market store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto on Oct. 24. The women’s apparel retailer will open its second Canadian location at Square One, Mississauga on Oct. 29, followed by Upper Canada Mall, Newmarket on Nov. 12.

Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Square One are owned by Oxford Properties Group and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo).Upper Canada Mall is owned by Oxford Properties Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

The store front design at Yorkdale Shopping Centre will include a mix of design elements and materials including white Carrara marble, polished chrome, black lacquer panels, striped fabric awnings, and an oversized cut-crystal chandelier.

The interior of the White House | Black Market boutiques will have an over-arching black-and-white palette that incorporates currated finishes including wood and marble floors, beautiful crystal chandeliers and sconces, mirrored accents, striped satin draperies and velvet upholstery. The furniture selection combines lacquered wood, polished chrome, molded aluminum, marble and glass.

"We believe Canada is a great first foray into the international arena for Chico’s FAS, as it represents a natural extension of our brands," said David Dyer, president and CEO of Chico’s FAS, Inc. "From our robust customer file, we already know that there are a significant number of Chico’s FAS customers in Canada."

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STORE SPACES

Saks’ Chicago flagship to devote two floors to new in-store men’s format, The Fifth Man

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Saks Fifth Avenue in January 2014 will unveil its renovated men’s store in its Chicago flagship on Michigan Avenue. The renovation will encompass a total redesign of floors six and seven, creating an open environment that will be easily accessed by a new express elevator that will take passengers directly to the men’s floors.

Saks is calling its new in-store men shop The Fifth Man, short for “The Saks Fifth Avenue Man.” Designed by Saks Fifth Avenue in collaboration with luxury retail designers Jeffery Hutchison & Associates, the renovated space will be home to commissioned, revolving art installations, high-end amenities and more. Nine large floor-to ceiling-vitrines are strategically placed on both floors, spotlighting collection highlights. Both floors are softened with residential-style touches including mixed-oak plank flooring from the Netherlands, mid-century modern architectural touches, and an eclectic collection of classic and contemporary furniture.

The sixth floor will feature a classic and clubby environment with a warm, rich material pallet of brass and bronze metals, cerused oak and handmade wall coverings inspired by men’s suiting fabrics. The offerings will include an ever-evolving assortment of luxury brands, the latest prototype shop for the exclusive Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Collection, and a customized area for made-to-measure suiting. Other highlights include an expansive new shoe shop that extends through an open ceiling linking floors six and seven.

The seventh floor will be a contemporary environment inspired by the great modern architecture pioneers of Chicago such as Mies Van der Rohe and Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with materials and details that allude to industrial media. Raw and blackened steel, gray cerused oak and wall coverings feel inspired by the machine age.

The space on seven will include designer sportswear and a revamped denim offering. It will also feature a new restaurant and bar, called Sophie’s, which will boast expansive views of the Magnificent Mile. The new restaurant was inspired by American fashion designer Sophie Gimbel, the iconic arbiter of style at Saks for nearly 40 years. Award-winning architect Andre Kikoski was selected to create the sleek, contemporary design that will define the Sophie’s aesthetic.

“Saks is thrilled to offer our customers exciting new lifestyle shopping experiences all under one roof,” says Tom Ott, senior VP and GMM for men’s, home and gifts at Saks Fifth Avenue. “The greatly expanded men’s shoe salon, the deeper focus on designer and denim and the open shopping environment are sure to make Chicago’s Fifth Man a unique shopping destination.”

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News

E-commerce, payment fraud high priorities for customer-facing firms

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — E-commerce and payments fraud remains high on the agenda for consumer-facing organizations, according to a recent Deloitte online poll. Nearly half (47%) of executives and managers reported that fraud protection ranks as a "high priority" for their organization, and a further 8% cited this as their organization’s number one priority.

Despite fraud prevention ranking as a high priority, only 9% of respondents stated that their organization currently provides customers with free fraud prevention solutions. Similarly, budget increases for fraud solutions have been minimal during the past 12 months, with only 9% stating that their fraud protection and detection budget increased substantially. An additional 22% reported fraud budgets had increased marginally, while a similar number (21%) stated that budgets remained unchanged.

Only 9% of respondents cited mobile fraud as a top concern for their business, even with mobile e-commerce solutions on the rise. Thirty five percent of respondents identified online as the greatest area of fraud concern, followed by e-mail (21% and non-digital fraud (13%).

"Along with the positive impact of digital commerce comes the risk of fraud to businesses and customers," explained David Williams, chief executive officer, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. "With monthly phishing attacks increasing 40% last year, education and fraud solutions for the end-customer are often a powerful way for organizations to police and control fraud."

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