Saks

So the rumours were true, and Stacey Cartwright, the ex-Burberry CFO who left that brand last February, has landed at Harvey Nichols as CEO. She’ll start next month. Goody. After all, Ms Cartwright’s appointment underscores two important trends in the fashion industry: first, the action in the department store world, where the fight for consumer attention and wallets is escalating to new heights; and second, the rise of the female executive in a world that, ironically, has long been run by men. Read more

As this is my last post of the year I thought I’d leave you with a few ideas about the five main thing I’m going to be watching in 2014, and where the action might be (aside from the already well-documented worlds of M&A and IPOs), from store wars to legal battles, consumer behaviour and designers that will make the difference. Read on! Read more

My favourite rumour of the day comes courtesy of WWD, which suggests that ex-Burberry CFO Stacey Cartwright, beloved of the City and regarded as a key player in that brand’s financial success, may find a new C-suite seat as CEO of UK department store Harvey Nichols. Current CEO Joseph Wan, who has been running the store for over a decade, “denied an appointment had been made.” Which doesn’t mean one isn’t coming. So let’s play my favourite game for a moment: “What if…?”  Read more

The news yesterday that Marigay McKee (left, with Michael Kors), former Chief Merchant of Harrod’s, was moving to New York to become President of Saks was interesting — but not as interesting as the news today that Richard Baker, the new owner of the store chain (and a sudden department store mogul along the lines of Galen Weston: he also owns Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay) was planning a $200 million refit of the flagship. $200 million on one store? If I was a speculating gal – and you know I am – I would guess this means the Fifth Ave branch is going WAY upmarket. WAY upmarket. And you know what that means? We have new strategy in the department store wars. Read more

News that the Hudsons Bay Company is buying Saks Fifth Avenue for $2.9 billion may take many by surprise (recent rumours focused on Neiman Marcus and NY real estate mogul Barry Sternlicht), but it also throws a new light on Canada’s relationship to the luxury industry.

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For once, the trademark violation shoe is on the other foot when it comes to luxury. The Hells Angels are mad at Alexander McQueen (the brand, not the man) and they aren’t going to take it anymore. Or, to be more specific, they are taking it to court. Read more

Fashion, especially during show time, is not politically correct. This we know. It is, despite momentary urges to prove itself otherwise, sexist (when it comes to models, there’s a big gender imbalance in pay, though not necessarily the way you think); ageist; and size-ist (the latter two do not really need explanation).  Read more