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Goodwood vintage fashion festival

Celebrating five decades of style, the first annual Goodwood Vintage festival -opening today- is a fashion led fete of creative British cool from the 40s onwards.  Whether your thing is Swing, Rockabilly, Mod, Soul, Funk, Disco, Ska, Electro, Burlesque, Film, Art and Design, or you just want to dress up for a day, Vintage at Goodwood promises to be rich in British creative and cultural history.

The event, brainchild of designer Wayne Hemingway – who said he was “underwhelmed by the lack of glamour” at the festivals he attended – embraces music, film, art and design, with the primary focus on fashion.

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John Lewis opens Cardiff store

In a previous blog I commented on a John Lewis report, despite their decreasing sale figures the fashion part of the department store had been continuously doing well, as sales rose 2.2% over the first half of 2009. Total online sales rose 11.6% to £151.5m over the half and the retailer re-launched its fashion website with 200 brands. Today, John Lewis opened the biggest Department store in Wales in Cardiff’s St David’s Centre.

The 280,000 sq ft shop, the retailer’s largest outside of London, anchors the extended development and was the first to open. It will employ about 800 people.

The store is the first to feature a new-look fashion department including a designer area, denim wall and contemporary jewellery and accessories fixtures. The shop is also the first to include Johnlewis.com computer access points. The retailer said: “The concept has no defined walkways, allowing shoppers a sense of discovery.”

Womenswear brands stocked include Stella McCartney lingerie, Elie Tahari, Mulberry, Tanya Sarne for John Lewis and Les Petites. The store will also house menswear brands such as Ralph Lauren, Belstaff, John Smedley, Zegna Sport and Hackett.

The opening was marked by models, who acted as live mannequins in the city centre to showcase the fashion brands on offer. Waiting consumers were also treated to street entertainment from a samba band and jugglers.

John Lewis Cardiff managing director Liz Mihell said: “Our opening is the culmination of a lot of hard work and preparation. Cardiff is a growing and vibrant city.”

See also Drapers for a full article.

John Lewis forecasts less discounting at Christmas

The effect of the recession on Britain is set to continue over the Christmas period with less discounting and festive sales on the high street. This week Drapers reported that John Lewis managing director Andy Street has forecast that there will be less high street discounting during the crucial festive period as the department store said that sales fell by 2.9% to £1.21bn over the first half.

In this report Street said like-for-like sales at the retailer fell 4.7% in the first half to August 1. Operating profit, excluding property profit, was down 49% to £20.1m. He went on to say that the performance was better than expected and that the department store was bullish about the prospects for Christmas.

However, it seems that it is the fashion part of the department store has been continuously doing well as sales rose 2.2% over the first half. Total online sales rose 11.6% to £151.5m over the half and the retailer has re-launched its fashion website with 200 brands. It will open its 28th store in Cardiff on September 24. It shows that even during the recession, when people are cutting back on luxuries, customers are still willing to spend on clothing on looking good.

See also Retail Week