Tag Archives: Retail & High Street

Retail group Mike Ashley takes over leading fashion retailer North | Instant News


Mike Ashley Frasers Group’s retail empire has swooped into the premier fashion retailer on Teesside.

Newcastle United owner and serial entrepreneur has taken over designer clothing company Middlesbrough Psyche in an undisclosed deal, years after the owner initially turned down a purchase offer.

Soul owner Steve Cochrane, who has owned the company for 38 years, will remain with the company after the deal, saying it secures the future of brick and mortar shops, online operations and 58 employees.

She said: “After 38 years as an independent fashion retailer we’ve never seen the uncertainty surrounding a pandemic with local closings, it’s great to have the security and support of one of the UK’s strongest retailers to continue to employ our talented staff and serve us loyal customers.

“Joining the Frasers Group will allow us to grow and develop.

“It will give us economies of scale and efficiency by being part of a large company.”

The deal includes Psyche’s 40,000-square-foot luxury fashion boutique in Middlesbrough, which sells more than 200 high-end brands for men, women and children, and is currently closed due to Tier 4 restrictions.

It moved into the building from its previous premises, also on Linthorpe Road, as part of expansion plans in 2003.

In 1995 Psyche won UK Designer Retailer of the Year ahead of Selfridges on Oxford Street and Mr Cochrane, saying he was first approached with a potential sales offer in 2017.

He turned down the offer – but was recently contacted by Frasers Group founder Mr Ashley.

The businessman visited four years ago during a trip to see his Flannel shop in Middlesbrough.

Mr Cochrane added: “When Mike came three years ago, he said it was the best shop he had seen outside London.

“They are really great to face. Many highways are on the brink of failure, but this deal ensures that Psyche is now part of something bigger and safer.

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Swiss watches plan eight new US stores | Instant News


Swiss watches plan eight new stores in the United States, each dedicated to a specific watch brand.

British retailers want to open TAG Heuer and OMEGA boutiques in Garden City, New York and in Palm Beach, Florida; the TAG Heuer and Breitling stores in Pennsylvania; and specialty Breitling stores in San Jose, California and Nashville, Tennessee.

The Watches of Switzerland Group – which includes Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb – moved into the US market three years ago when it bought American jewelry chain Mayor’s for nearly $ 105 million.

The US deal provides him with 17 stores – 15 on the Rolex concession – in Florida and Georgia, and US headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

It has UK headquarters in Leicester, and 135 core stores across the UK and US.

There is today about two dozen American stores, including two in New York – one in Manhattan’s new Hudson Yards complex, and an 8,000-square-foot store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

There are also several stores in Las Vegas, and a new Swiss Watch branch opened at the $ 2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor Resort.

The US accounts for about a quarter of the £ 810 million annual revenue.

Group chief executive Brian Duffy said: “In two short years, with best practices built on its long history in the UK, the Swiss Watch Group has cemented its role as a market leader in luxury retail as well as an expert in single-model brands.

“We have become the right partner for the best watch brands in the world looking to grow in the US.

“The group takes great pride in sharing its revolutionary retail expertise and working closely with historic watchmakers such as TAG Heuer, Breitling, and OMEGA to develop their brands in the US.”

David Hurley, executive vice president of Watches of Switzerland Group USA, said: “Since the Mayor’s acquisition in 2017 was followed by the rapid opening of the Watch of Switzerland SoHo, the group has demonstrated its acute command of the US market and a deep understanding of a smart and diverse clientele. .

“After two years of exponential growth, Watches of Switzerland has demonstrated its ability to dominate new markets that have become an attraction for leading Swiss watch brands looking to expand their brand’s retail operations in North America.

“With our expertise in retail and outstanding watches from TAG Heuer, Breitling, and OMEGA, our opportunities in the US market are endless.”

OMEGA US brand president Arnaud Michon said: “With two OMEGA boutique openings coming before the end of the year, OMEGA is excited to intensify its partnership with Swiss Watches in the US and provide more customers with the best knowledge of our retail mix.”

TAG chief executive Heuer Frédéric Arnault said: “This milestone expansion is testament to our relationship with the Watches of Switzerland Group, our partners celebrating 11 franchise boutiques in the UK, and the three boutiques that will now help strengthen our presence and client experience in key locations in the UK. North America, our strongest region in the entire world.

“The Watches of Switzerland Group embraces the values ​​and vision of TAG Heuer and will provide a rich brand experience while welcoming both new and loyal customers to this location.”

The Watches of Switzerland Group is the UK’s largest retailer of Rolex, Cartier, Omega, TAG Heuer and Breitling watches.

Mappin & Webb, meanwhile, held royal warrants as goldsmiths, silversmiths and jewelers for the Queen and silversmiths for the Prince of Wales.

Jeweler Mappin & Webb has been a Mahkota jeweler and custodian of the Crown Jewel since 2012.

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Watches of Switzerland appoints a former Hilton hotel boss as new chairman | Instant News


British and US luxury retailer Watches of Switzerland Group have appointed Ian Carter as its non-executive chairman.

He will join the board of the Leicester-based group on November 1.

Last month Dennis Millard announced he was stepping down as chairman with Tea Colaianni, the group’s senior independent director, temporarily taking over.

Mr Carter has over 30 years of experience in retail at the national and international level.

Over the past 15 years he has been with Hilton Worldwide, joining Hilton International as chief executive in London in 2005.

The registered Hilton Worldwide network now has more than 6,000 hotels in 13 brands including the luxury Waldorf Astoria and Conrad brands and operates in more than 120 countries worldwide.

Prior to joining Hilton, he was president of Black & Decker Corporation.

He has lived and worked in Europe, Asia and for the last 14 years in the US.

In addition, Mr Carter has significant non-executive experience having served on a number of boards in the UK and US, including the Burberry Group between 2007 and 2019 where he developed “an in-depth knowledge of and appreciation of the global luxury industry”.

He said: “I couldn’t be more excited about joining the team this time.

“After a very successful IPO, the opportunities for further growth are tremendous and most importantly, the team led by Brian is clearly passionate and focused on delivering a world-class luxury retail experience.

“I look forward to working with the board and management to further build on this success.”

The Watches of Switzerland Group is the UK’s largest luxury watch retailer, with 135 core showrooms throughout the UK and US under the Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Mayors brands.

It floated in 2019 and in recent years has continued to build up its presence in the US.

It is the UK’s largest retailer of Rolex, Cartier, OMEGA, TAG Heuer and Breitling watches.

Jeweler Mappin & Webb has been a Crown Jeweler, custodian of Her Majesty’s Crown Jewel since 2012.

Tea Colaianni, the group’s senior independent director, said: “After a thorough global search process, the board is pleased to welcome Ian to the Watches of Switzerland Group as non-executive chairman.

“Ian’s wealth of commercial, business and board experience and knowledge of the consumer, retail and luxury sectors particularly in the US and UK will be valuable assets for the group as it enters the next phase of strategic growth.”

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