STORE SPACES

Tesco to debut F&F apparel format in U.S., with seven stores by year-end

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Tesco Plc plans to bring its value-priced F&F clothing format to the United States, opening seven stores on the East Coast this year with its U.S. franchise partner, Retail Group of America. The move comes some six months after Tesco sold off its struggling American supermarket operation, Fresh & Easy, to Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa investment company.

The new stores will feature women’s, men’s and kid’s clothing, with the first location expected to open in May, in the Boston area. It will be followed by four stores in shopping malls in New York, along with stores in Philadelphia and Newport, Va. (See end of story for a list of announced locations to date.)

Tesco launched F&F in 2001. It now operates in 21 countries.

“We’re delighted to be bringing F&F’s range of affordable fashion to customers in the USA this year, including four stores in one of the world’s fashion and shopping capitals, New York,” said Jason Tarry, CEO of F&F. “We’ve had a really positive response from customers in all of our overseas markets so we’re hoping our American stores prove to be just as popular. F&F is fast becoming a true global brand.”

F&F will be opening franchise stores in the following locations in the United States:

• Springfield Holyoke Mall, Maryland
• New York Palisades Centre, New York
• Newport News Patrick Henry Mall, Virginia
• New York Trumbull Mall, New York
• Exton Mall, Pennsylvania
• New York Sunrise Mall, New York
• New York South Shore Mall, New York

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STORE SPACES

Coach to partner with Studio Sofield for new store concept

BY Marianne Wilson

Hong Kong — Coach announced that it has retained Studio Sofield, led by designer and president William Sofield, as creative advisor in the development of the company’s next generation retail concept.

The new concept will be unveiled in fall 2014, with the company’s 4,000-sq.-ft. flagship in Beverly Hills, Calif., followed by the Coach store at the Time Warner Center in New York City (5,335 sq. ft.).

Additionally, the company will open a new location in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. The concept will be implemented by Coach in subsequent locations in 2015, to be announced at a later date.

"William and I share a genuine desire to create something different — different for Coach and unique in luxury. He has created some of my favorite stores," said Stuart Vevers, executive creative director, Coach. "As we continue on the path of transformation, I want our new store environment to organically trigger a significant change in the perception of our brand. A space that feels authentic to Coach, confident, modern and inviting, with honest construction and rich, warm materials."

Sofield recently completed Harry Winston’s flagship boutique in Shanghai, and London flagship store designs for Tom Ford and Belstaff. Studio Sofield’s collaboration with Coach represents the first of the firm’s new initiatives in retail conceptualization.

"Coach’s legacy finds dignity in the honest simplicity of form," said Sofield. "It’s grown alongside the city into an emblem of the sophisticated, yet playful refinement that embodies an authentic and timeless New York style. The concept that Stuart and I have devised instills notions of raw materiality and hand craftsmanship that converse [juxtaposed] with the balance and expression of structure. It will have an elegant thoughtfulness that is classic, but buoyant with a lightness of spirit."

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Online retailer BaubleBar sets up shop in Nordstrom

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Online jewelry retailer BaubleBar on Monday opened 35 pop-up shops in select Nordstrom locations. The ‘Nordstrom Loves BaubleBar’ pop-up features new and exclusive items from brand, with the collection priced between $24 and $68.

In-store displays in the shops will encourage customers to mix and match items to create a signature look, showcasing pre-curated style vignettes for inspiration. Additionally, BaubleBar will create fashion and how-to editorial content for Nordstrom.com with style tips teaching how to become an expert BaubleBar mixologist.

This is not BaubleBar’s first foray into the brick-and-mortar space. Founded in 2011, the company has previously tested various physical concepts, including a store in Manhattan.

In a statement, BaubleBar said: “Nordstrom and BaubleBar’s shared customer-first philosophies make for a natural partnership as both brands aim to deliver the best possible customer experience and are constantly evolving how to best serve customers.”

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