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Owen, New York City

BY CSA STAFF

This new concept makes its retail debut with a unusual store design that has created lots of buzz. The central element of the 1,800-sq.-ft. boutique is a continuous surface made from 25,000 stacked paper bags‹that arches from floor to ceiling. Creating a warm atmosphere, the honeycomb-like structure contrasts with the existing industrial brick and concrete space. All clothing, accessories and jewelry are displayed on quartz slab tables, blackened steel hang bars and steel and glass vitrines.

Located in New York City’s trendy Meatpacking District, Owen features a carefully edited assortment of up-and-coming contemporary brands for men and women. This is the company¹s first retail outing, but it’s meant to serve as a preview of more to come.

Design: Tackelbox, New York City
Photos by: Tacklebox, by Juliana Sohn


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Children’s Place expands presence in Middle East

BY CSA STAFF

SECAUCUS, N.J. — The Children’s Place Retail Stores is expanding its presence in the Middle East with franchise agreements to open stores in the Arab Gulf States of United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman as well as Saudi Arabia. The first stores are scheduled to open in the UAE in September 2012 in Dubai and Sharjah. The first two stores in Saudi Arabia are scheduled to open during the second quarter of 2012.

Jane Elfers, president and CEO, stated, "We are very excited to continue our expansion beyond North America with a number of stores opening in the UAE this year. The Middle East retail landscape is very well developed and has high potential for our brand."

The stores opening in the UAE are part of a ten-year franchise agreement with Apparel Group. The stores opening in Saudia Arabia are part of a ten-year franchise agreement with Fawaz A. AlHokair & Co. SJSC, known as "Fashion Retail."

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Walmart web traffic surges in May

BY CSA STAFF

Online measurement firm comScore is out with its top 50 web properties report and Walmart.com must be doing something right judging from a surge in traffic.

Walmart.com was ranked 24th on the top 50 list for May with 42.4 million unique visitors, a 9% increase from the prior month when comScore showed Walmart.com had 38.8 million unique visitors in April. The gain in web traffic over the same month the prior year is even more substantial as Walmart.com registered a 26.2% increase from a May 2011 unique visitor total of 33.6 million.

As for Amazon.com, the company Walmart.com is continually measured against, it continues to attract more than double the number of unique monthly visitors as Walmart.com, but its traffic situation looks very different. For starters, comScore shows May traffic at Amazon.com registered 99.4 million visitors, down from 101 million visitors in April. When compared with the same month the prior year, Amazon.com’s unique monthly visitor total increased a modest 4.7% rate, according to comScore data.

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