Sorry for the slight delay everyone, but the new site is now up! Although I wish I had better knowledge of redirecting this blog to the new domain, you guys will simply have to update your links
The new site has now its own domain at : http://www.fashiondualite.com/
**This current URL blog will no longer be updated!!**
Enjoy the new site!
I will be working extra hard to bring you more original content on fashion, so stay tuned. I’m not dead!
I’ve also been fighting a cold, but that still doesn’t stop me from working at 12:30 at night to get this done for you.
Besides, I’m sure you all have your eyes glued to NY Fashion Week
Only a day after reporting that Hudson Bay Company owner, Richard Baker, was in hot waters with his flailing retail purchases, The Bay announced a cut back of 1,000 jobs. This cut is part of a restructuring The Bay is undergoing, claiming it will refocus the department store. I’m not quite sure how you can offer better service if department staff are taking the axe though.
Today, the Globe and Mail reports that The Bay is relying heavily on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games to boost sales. The Bay is the official company who will be dressing the Canadian Olympic team and will reveal their corporate logo for the Winter Games next week.
Exactly how patriotic will Canadians be about the Winter Games of 2010? The Bay had released official Olympic products for the Beijing Games last year, and failed to make any significant retail waves. Jeff Sherman, HBC’s CEO, acknowledged the shortcomings of last year’s fashion flop and promised to “not make those mistakes again.” They’re apparently working on “sought-after designs” that should have better retail longevity.
What HBC really hopes to accomplish is to reproduce Roots’ Olympic success. According to the Globe and Mail back in Oct:
The Olympics work had helped put Roots on the world map after its poor boy cap created a sensation – and a selling frenzy – at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games.
Since then, Roots had been the official outfitter for the U.S. Olympic team until last year when famed American designer Ralph Lauren designed the team’s jackets. The collaboration also proved fruitful as sales were still strong on the retail floor even after the Beijing Games were done.
Were HBC have made a collaboration with a Canadian fashion brands like Pink Tartan or DSquared, as Adidas made with Stella McCartney, that could help boost visibility for The Bay with their exclusive Olympic line.
Last year’s fashion flop – Who would actually wear these?
Another problem are the numerous licensees who are developing other Olympic products as listed by Vancouver Sun in February 2008. The list of products also include clothing apparel, which could place it in direct competition with The Bay’s designs. Although, Olympic Canadian fashion doesn’t really whip up my style senses into a frenzy.
With the news of the global recession, the implementation of Lord & Taylor into the Canadian market has been scraped for now. It will be a slow and painful process for Richard Baker to turn around two department store chains in 2 different countries.
Image credits: HBC, official Vancouver2010.com muk muk plush
The future of NRDC’s recent acquisitions remain uncertain as a deepening recession has sent Richard Baker’s retail purchases in 2006 through 2008 into dark waters.
According to the Wall Street Journal*, a few of Baker’s purchases have already flunked out – namely Linen n’ Things, FortunOff and the once promising Peter Som. The department stores Lord & Taylor and The Bay were said to endure a makeover in better positioning themselves in the retail market. In the US, Lord & Taylor was said to stand between Macy’s and Nordstrom. In Canada, the U.S. department store would position itself between The Bay and Holt Renfrew. Today, it would seem this projection is bleak.
The Bay, already suffering from previous mismanagement, seem to have encountered yet another setback in making a significant return to the Canadian retail market. If the department store is heading for a resale, unless by some miracle in this global recession, I fear that this branded department store will disappear off of customer’s radars, if not done so already.
*If you’re not subscribed to WSJ, there is a technical loophole in which you can view the article if you search the following keywords in Google – “nrdc, baker, wsj”. Click on the “cache” link and you should be able to see it. Ahh technology.
A little something to tide you over while I’m working my little fingers on getting a new layout for the blog
Introducing Business of Fashion‘s first ever video interview with London designer Giles Deacon. To be honest, I’m quite excited for BoF, it’s a great experience to contribute to such a well-respected site and I can only hope for bigger and better things. Not to mention that I’m always deeply honored to be part of the team even if my contributions are rare gems
Here’s the teaser trailer below:
While I was sitting at my local laundromat waiting for the spin cycle to end, I picked up a past issue of the New Yorker, the March 2008 edition, and started flipping through the pages for distraction.
Although I have forgotten the title of it, I read a very interesting article about the downturn of the housing market and made a correlation between the mass foreclosures in North America with the spending habits of fellow consumers.
During the real estate boom between 1996 and 2004, borrowing credit had never been easier. Lending restrictions were lax and putting a down payment on a home was virtually non-existant. The average down payment for a home would only reach as little as 2%, leaving consumers less likely to save up for the future and spending more. This extra spending habit conveniently coupled with the rise of accessible luxury was a recipe for extravagance.