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Nine West and Cross Unveil Brand Showcases

BY Marianne Wilson

Nine West is putting its best foot forward, showing off an exciting, more contemporary look at its remodeled flagship on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. The 2,185-sq.-ft. store has been revitalized with a design that celebrates the essence of the brand while making it more relevant to today’s style-conscious shoppers.

“The elements and techniques used throughout the store up the ante on styling fashion footwear and make it an artwork to crave,” said Sheryl Bloom, president of fashion footwear, retail for Jones Apparel Group, New York City. (Nine West is a subsidiary of Jones.)

Designed by Jones’ in-house team in partnership with Fred Allard, creative director, Nine West, the store uses bold fixtures to create a modern gallery-like environment. Many elements of the design are being incorporated into other Nine West remodels.

The merchandise is displayed on sleek white tables. The tables are illuminated and appear to float on the concrete tile floor in such a way as to give the visual effect of a runway down the center of the store. The runway design is further enhanced by recessed black track lights in the ceiling cove above.

The perimeter walls feature a “stage” of shoes, with white risers and thick Plexiglas shelves used to highlight the products. Oversized, polished stainless-steel framed mirrors separate the linear walls, drawing shoppers to the display.

Metal-halide lighting (Ecotectural from Amerlux) is featured throughout the space. The lighting makes the store energy efficient and artistically interesting, providing a crisp white light that allows the true color of the footwear, handbags and accessories on display to “pop” in a way that attracts attention.

Cross: The legendary A.T. Cross brand has updated its store concept to appeal to a younger, female demographic. The new look is part of the company’s repositioning itself as an accessories brand.

Designed by RGLA Solutions, Schiller Park, Ill., the new Cross store, premiering in the Natick Collection Mall, Natick, Mass., offers a contemporary setting with a residential feel (a second location is open in Fashion Show Mall, Las Vegas). Fabric panels, quilted leather and other materials add a soft touch of everyday luxury. Light and dark wood accents, decorative pendant lights and display trays on top of ottomans enhance the inviting, comfortable feel of the store.

Cross’ expanded product lineup of accessories and gifts, ranging from eyewear to computer tote bags, is showcased in contemporary fixtures and alcoves with open glass shelving.

To see more photos of Nine West and Cross, visitwww.chainstoreage.com/photos .

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Dillard’s 3Q loss widens

BY CSA STAFF

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Dillard’s reported a third quarter net loss of $56 million, or 76 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $11.3 million, or 15 cents per share, for the same period last year.

Dillard’s ceo, William Dillard, II, stated, “The oppressive economic environment clearly weighed heavily on our results during the third quarter. We continue to take aggressive action to navigate these challenging times. We announced the closure of 21 under-performing stores during 2008, dramatically reduced capital spending for 2008 and 2009 and are executing appropriate operating expense reduction measures throughout the Company. These efforts are not only designed to position ourselves to weather near-term economic uncertainty but also to position Dillard’s well for the long term.”

Net sales for the quarter were $1.508 billion compared to net sales of $1.633 billion last year. Sales in comparable stores declined 9%.

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Fred’s sees 3Q income growth

BY CSA STAFF

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Fred’s reported net income of $6.1 million, or 15 cents per diluted share for the third quarter 2008, an increase of 32% from net income of $4.6 million or 12 cents per diluted share in the year-earlier quarter.

Fred’s total sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 were $418.0 million compared with $419.9 million for the same period last year, with the year-over-year decline of 0.4% reflecting the company’s store-closing program. Excluding stores closed in 2008, total sales from ongoing stores increased 4% over the third quarter of last year. On a comparable-store basis, third quarter sales increased 1.4% versus 1.1% in the year-earlier period.

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