Archive for September 2019

& Other Stories: H&M targets upmarket shoppers

Hennes & Mauritz, Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer, will start selling its newest brand in stores and online simultaneously for the first time in the company’s history.
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The “& Other Stories” brand of women’s shoes, bags and accessories will go on sale in the spring, the Stockholm-based retailer said overnight. It will be available at seven new stores dedicated to the label in European cities such as London, Paris and Milan, as well as online in 10 European countries, H&M said.

“The key difference is that ‘& Other Stories’ is online from the outset, which in theory brings it to a wider audience,” Societe Generale analyst Anne Critchlow said. In terms of stores, it is a similar approach to the introduction of the retailer’s COS brand, she said.

The Swedish retailer is diversifying with a sixth brand after falling behind larger competitor Inditex in the race for the price-sensitive fashionista’s euro. Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer, has been pushing online business for brands including Zara. Last year, Inditex shares gained 67 per cent, while H&M rose 1.5 per cent.

“This diversification into other brands is nothing new for a lot of retailers and H&M is following in the footsteps of Inditex, which has diversified a lot,” said Planet Retail analyst Isabel Cavill. “They’ve needed to do this for some time because it was over-reliant on the H&M brand. They need to extend their reach to different shopper groups and create buzz and interest.”

Chelsea boots

Prices for “& Other Stories” clothes will start where H&M store prices end, chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said in September.

H&M, which opened its first store in 1947, introduced the higher-priced COS chain in 2007. COS sells jacquard trousers for 79 euros ($98) and heeled Chelsea boots for 150 euros.

“They’re looking for a different angle to the COS price range,” said Ms Cavill. “COS has a very distinct look and doesn’t necessarily appeal to everybody.”

H&M, which also owns the Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday brands, is looking for more locations in major European cities to open “& Other Stories” stores, Kristina Stenvinkel, a spokeswoman for the clothing retailer, said.

H&M delayed the start of its online operations in the US in September last year after adapting to the market took longer than expected, Mr Persson said at the time.

Zara online

“It’s beyond me why they haven’t launched online operations in the US yet,” Ms Cavill said. “In Europe, the service they offer online still doesn’t compare” to services offered by companies such as web retailer Asos, she said.

Despite a recent influx of overseas retail brands such as Zara into Australia, H&M is yet to open a store in Australia.

The fashion chain said last year that it would open an outlet this year in Santiago, Chile, its first shop south of the equator. At the time, Mr Persson said: “We see great potential for further expansion in this fashion-conscious region.”

Inditex introduced Chinese internet sales for Zara in September last year and started online operations in the US for Zara Home and Massimo Dutti in October. The Spanish retailer gets more than 35 per cent of revenue from non-Zara brands, which also include Bershka, Pull & Bear and Stradivarius.

“Multi-brand strategy is definitely going to be a key point for H&M if they want to close the gap with Inditex,” said Ashma Kunde, an apparel analyst at Euromonitor in London. “It’s quite interesting that they have chosen to invest in an entirely new brand rather than pushing existing brands further. ‘& Other Stories’ seems to focus a lot on details and craftsmanship and really showing a more artistic approach to fashion, which is a complete paradox to H&M, which is all about fast fashion.”


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Big Bash bolters

Alex Hales smashes one for the Renegades.Whether you praise the Big Bash as a revitalising novelty, or loathe it as a mutant abomination, Australia’s major Twenty20 tournament may deliver its cricket-lovers an unexpected benefit – helping the development of a pavilion-full of fringe players.
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Across the BBL, the forgotten, unknown and neglected are taking the opportunity to ply their wares against internationals. Even in the abbreviated form of the game, such competitive moments harden youngsters and offer redemptive opportunities for previously ignored journeymen.

High-profile veterans Shane Warne, 43, and Brad Hogg, 40, continued to make an impact, but other greybeards have graced the BBL. Spinner Brad Young, 39, had been retired so long that he had never played a T20 match. Dimitri Mascarenhas, 35, was plucked from playing club cricket for Prahran to replace the league’s best bowler Lasith Malinga in the Melbourne Stars line-up. And the Perth Scorchers became the 11th franchise to use the talents of South African veteran Alfonso Thomas, 35.

But its the younger guns who benefit most from exposure offered by the Big Bash. A succession of players who are striving to consolidate state or national roles have shown off their talents this season.

Here’s a few of the up and coming lesser-lights who have shone brightest so far in the Big Bash:

* Englishman Alex Hales, called in by the rampant Melbourne Renegades as a replacement for the injured Marlon Samuels, hopped off a long-haul flight, was bamboozled for the first two overs he faced, then pummelled the Sydney Sixers to the tune of 89 runs off 52 balls, with a tournament-high eight sixes.

Tall and athletic, he strikes the short ball with fearsome power, and proved he had mastered the slog sweep with four sixes in an over from left-arm tweaker Steve O’Keefe. An improving first-class player for Nottinghamshire, Hales is quickly becoming a fixture in the English short-form middle-order. Greater things could await in longer forms if his defence matches his shot-making.

* Renegades all-rounder Will Sheridan, 25, has played nine first-class games since his debut in 2009. He is tall and athletic, bowls briskly with his left arm (nine wickets so far in the BBL, including 3/28 against the Sixers) and gives the ball a hiding with the bat.

He has bamboozled sloggers with an impressive array of slower balls, and helped whack the Renegades to an unlikely victory against Adelaide when the run-rate appeared insurmountable. Averaging 43 with the bat and 20 with the ball in T20s, Sheridan has the raw ability to push higher, particularly in short-form cricket.

* South Australian (and Dutch) middle-order right-hander Tom Cooper and keeper-batsman Peter Nevill have been consistently handy for the league-leaders, but NSW middle-order stalwart Ben Rohrer and South Australian tweaker Aaron O’Brien have been the standouts for the Renegades.

O’Brien doesn’t spin the ball wildly or make it dip dramatically, but the left-armer’s clever variations have baffled opponents, even without boundary protection when bowling in the opening overs.

Rohrer’s clean ball-striking and composed decision-making have kept the Renegades’ run-rate ticking over, often in partnership with dominant Aaron Finch, leaving the 31-year-old left-hander anchored in the top three performing batsmen in the competition with 253 runs at 50 per knock.

* Burly Queenslander Luke Feldman is yet another capable paceman who would not be out of place at the highest level. He has been perhaps the most consistent quick of the BBL, with 10 wickets in eight games for the Sydney Sixers, at less than seven runs per over. He hits the pitch hard, but possesses a dramatic slower ball, which stymies even the fiercest hitters.

* Hobart Hurricanes boast the BBL’s most effective Australian-born bowler, Ben Laughlin. The son of former Victorian all-rounder Trevor has an ever-changing array of slower balls which have tied opposing sloggers in knots, yielding 13 wickets at 13. Further international opportunities surely beckon.

* Tasmanian Melbourne Renegades all-rounderJames Faulkner, already something of a veteran, but still only 22, has taken 10 wickets and often scored handy late-order runs. The canny left-arm quick has a full range of short-form tricks, and needs only to add a yard of pace, or an irresistible inswinger, to ensure a lengthy international career.

Notably, he has proved himself when games are on-the-line, bowling with calm assurance against desperate hitters, and choosing the right ball to whack himself when chasing down a total.

* Sachithra Senanayake bowled one of the more intriguing spells of the BBL for the Sydney Sixers against Brisbane Heat.

The whippet-thin Sri Lankan finger-spinner opened the bowling with his innocuous-looking high-armed tweakers and an odd-seam-up “back-spinner”, which swerved like a swinging delivery. The Heat batsmen, including veteran James Hopes, had no idea which way the ball was going to deviate.

Senanayake bowled a tournament-high 17 balls which were not scored from, and followed up with 1-19, including 15 dot-balls, against the rampant Renegades, including Alex Hales, who savaged other Sixers bowlers.

* Another spinner creating interest is diminutive 20-year-old Sydney leg-spinnerAdam Zampa. Having bowled only once at first-class level (when he took five wickets on debut), Zampa has been one of the few encouraging performers for the Sydney Thunder, with five wickets from six matches, including 3/26 in Hobart. Possessing a similar style to Shane Warne, he doesn’t get huge turn, but proves difficult to counter when he hits a length, troubling such spin-savvy strikers as David Hussey.

* Former Victorian wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman has prospered since switching to South Australia, his 71 not-out for the Strikers against Sydney placing him in the top 10 competition scorers. His acrobatic effort to catch Heat’s Thisara Perera off Kieron Pollard exemplifies his agility. Any further improvement in his batting consistency will bring him into contention for greater honours, but at 25, he has time on his side.

* One of the few wicketkeeper-batsmen ahead of Ludeman at the moment is luckless Tasmanian starTim Paine, whose performances in the BBL show he is finally on the way back after two years of injury woes.

Paine has scored 237 runs atop the Hurricanes’ batting order, consistently compiling solid scores including a match-defining 74 not-out against Perth Scorchers. With his glovework as reliable as ever, Paine’s improving batting will surely see him back in contention for international duties.

* Considered “too orthodox” for T20 cricket is Test candidateAlex Doolan. His 30 off 28 balls, which helped set up the Renegades’ win over the Melbourne Stars, was an illuminating cameo.

Mentioned in dispatches as a long-form power after an impressive 161 not-out for the Chairman’s XI against South Africa in November, Doolan had been a victim of the Sheffield Shield hiatus as the BBL was granted centre-stage.

But this knock showcased his poise and power. Suffering an injured ankle, he played the shot of the match off the back foot through the covers, a superbly-timed drive that sped past cover-point. Then he smashed a succession of short-balls to the mid-wicket fence. Sometimes a glimpse of class is all the public and selectors need to remind them a potential star is within their grasp.

* Another young bowler taking advantage of the Big Bash to raise his profile is 21-year-old South Australian quick Kane Richardson. The right-arm paceman took 3/9 for the Strikers against Thunder in Sydney, and has snared eight wickets in seven innings overall. His brilliant diving catch on the boundary line against Hobart showcased his athleticism, and his yorker and change of pace have won rave reviews from former Australian stars Jason Gillespie and Mark Waugh.

Under-publicised overachievers

A Big Bashers 2013 XI

Alex Hales

Tim Paine

Ben Rohrer

Tim Ludeman

Will Sheridan

James Faulkner

Aaron O’Brien

Sachithra Senanayake

Ben Laughlin

Adam Zampa

Luke Feldman

It is a team light-on for batsmen, reflecting the predominance of bowlers of late in T20 games. Most innings totals have battled to reach 160, previously considered “par” for BBL games. But add an attention-hog such as a T20 superstar and BBL-leading run-scorer – say, Aaron Finch, Brad Hodge or Shaun Marsh – and it would take a power of beating.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Leslie preparing to help victims of fire

As firefighters across the country work tirelessly to protect lives and assets, there is another special group of people who are preparing to help wildlife and other animals affected, ConnectPink’s Monique Patterson writes.
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When I speak to Leslie Kurek by telephone you’d never know that she has been living with the very prospect of having to evacuate from her home in Tasmania’s White Beach for the past week or so.

She tells me that she is sitting on her verandah as there is less smoke than other days and staying by the phone for news (mobile phone reception is in and out, but she has landline reception, for now).

Leslie expresses deep sympathy for the people in Dunalley, about one hour away by car, who have lost their homes and all of their belongings, pictured is one of the burnt out homes.

“Our hearts go out to them,” she said. “We know a lot of people who have lost their houses.”

It seems that Leslie is a person who always puts others first.

She is preparing to help wherever she can in the coming weeks to care for wildlife and other animals affected by the fires.

Leslie, who has had an association the Bonorong Wildlife Shelter as a wildlife carer for the past 20 years, believes she may be called to help burnt and injured animals.

Sadly, she knows there will be casualties.

“I would assume there may be wallabies affected, if they ran ahead of the firefront, possums could be affected because they’ll go up a tree, which may burn, and wombats go down their burrows, but then smoke can affect them greatly,” Leslie said.

She has had many phone calls from people who are worried about pets or stock who are missing in fire affected areas.

“A lot of people are in deep shock and devastated their pets or stock are in the fire zone,” Leslie said.

“People are wanting to get back in there but it’s too dangerous.”

It’s not until I ask Leslie how things are for her that I find out that she has no power.

But she’s quick to assure me that she and her husband are coping just fine.

Leslie then tells me about a red heeler that went missing in nearby Murdunna when fires ripped through there.

The poor dog had burnt paws and was suffering respiratory issues due to smoke inhalation.

Leslie was able to treat the dog’s paws with burn cream.

She said the dog was obviously in pain, but lay still while she tended its feet and when she was finished, the dog turned around and licked her.

“I nearly cried,” Leslie said.

She added that the dog’s owner was distraught his dog was missing and was delighted to be reunited with it.

Leslie said offers of medical supplies (in readiness for helping wildlife) and help had been overwhelming.

“We’ve been inundated with hurricane lamps, torches and there is a load of food coming in to the peninsula. We want for nothing – the generosity has been incredible.”

Anyone who finds hurt or injured animals in Tasmania can contact the Orphaned and Injured Wildlife Hotline on (03) 6268 1184, the Department of Primary Industries on (03) 6233 6556 or Leslie directly (for the White Beach area) on (03) 6250 2516 or 0407 502 099.

Leslie Kurek is preparing to care for animals affected by bushfires in near-by Dunalley.

Have your say on the bushfires – visit www上海夜网nnectpink上海夜网

Daily horoscopes: Thursday, January 10

ARIES: January 10, 11 is a great time to escape from the harsh realities of life and indulge yourself in the fulfilment of personal needs. There are others who are willing to assist you.
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TAURUS: Your dreams inspire new goals during January 10, 11 and are more achievable because you possess the skills and desires to achieve them. This is a very creative time.

GEMINI: Beauty, compassion and humanity will guide you on your life path during January 10, 11, with many incorporating such elements into their career path. Artistic and creative trends assist.

CANCER: Beautiful and dreamy thoughts tend to weave a magical spell in Cancerian lives during January 10, 11. This makes for delightful interactions on a social level.

LEO: Things tend to run smoothly during January 10, 11 for Leonine individuals, ensuring the easy management of personal relations as well as financial interests. Plans run smoothly.

VIRGO: Beautifully romantic trends weave magic into the lives of Virgoans and their partners during January 10, 11. An empathic bond ensures understandings are reached.

LIBRA: Libran individuals are at a creative premium during January 10, 11, ensuring that any work produced is outstanding, particularly if elements of design are important factors.

SCORPIO: There are so many ways in which love can touch your life during January 10, 11, whether romance casts an enchantment over you or idealistic involvement with a child fills your heart with joy.

SAGITTARIUS: Your home is a place that you can truly relax during January 10, 11, with the predominant mood there being compassionate and quiet; an aura of safety envelopes you.

CAPRICORN: Gentleness characterises most of your interactions during January 10, 11, whether you are talking with a neighbour or relative, or sauntering along a boulevard and engaging absolute strangers.

AQUARIUS: You’ll particularly enjoy those activities that earn you money during January 10, 11, for you are surrounded by both opportunity and ideal circumstances; you do things with style.

PISCES: Pisceans seem to be at peace with the world around them during January 10, 11 as harmonious influences gently sweep them along in their wake; you are buffered against adversity.

LUCKY NUMBERS: Aries: 1, 3, 4, 9; Taurus: 5, 8; Gemini: 6, 7; Cancer: 3, 4, 7, 9; Leo: 1, 3, 4, 9; Virgo: 6, 8; Libra: 5, 7; Scorpio: 2, 3, 7, 9; Sagittarius: 1, 3, 4, 9; Capricorn: 5, 6; Aquarius: 5, 6; Pisces: 2, 4, 7.

Read Alison Moroney’s daily stars for Thursday, January 10, 2013.

Stoush over wedding smooch shot

‘Not artistic’ … Jarrad and Sheree Mitchell say their wedding photos were not up to scratch.IT comes down to this: is the wedding kiss the money shot of wedding photography?
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Narre Warren newlyweds Jarrad and Sheree Mitchell had thought they were entitled to the kiss shot, but photographer George Ferris said they did not linger long enough to get it.

And the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ruled that the kiss cannot be a guaranteed staple of every wedding album.

The Mitchells married in Nathania Springs, near Belgrave, on August 28, 2011, and engaged Studio Edge & Multimedia, of Beaconsfield, to photograph the day.

But after paying $2210 of the $2600 contract, they refused to pay the outstanding $390. They argued the company failed to deliver the photographs in an ”artistic” style found on their website.

They argued company director Mr Ferris had failed to capture pivotal moments such as ”the kiss”, the cutting of the ribbon and the signing of the wedding certificate. They said the pictures were poor with blurred movement and the wrong lens hood had caused shadow in the pictures.

The Mitchells claimed $6400 in damages, including the cost of restaging the wedding photos, saying the company failed to deliver a boxed photo album, proof album, three large wall prints and a micro wedding website.

Mr Ferris argued the kiss had been ”just a peck” and not all moments could be captured at every wedding. He also argued a flowered archway and ”bounce” from the flash had produced shadowy pictures.

Mr Ferris said the Mitchells only complained about the photographs after Mr Ferris’ wife, Joanne, sent 639 high-resolution ”proof” images to the couple by mistake.

Mr Ferris said the couple had received the value of a ”shoot and burn” package where a photographer shoots the pictures and then burns them to disk.

He showed VCAT member Dr Rebecca French a mock-up digital wedding album as an example of how it might have looked if the Mitchells had paid in full.

Studio Edge & Multimedia counter-claimed for $5700, including the balance of $390, costs for bringing the VCAT case of $4500, $60 for a meal that was not supplied, and a penalty fee of $750 because a second professional photographer was at the reception.

Dr French found Mr Mitchell did not prove Mr Ferris’ work was substandard, but said weddings were ”moving feasts” without the pristine conditions of a photographic studio.

”It was put to me that it was ‘just a peck’ and while it was not discussed at length in evidence, I accept that it is quite difficult to capture the moment of a kiss,” Dr French said. ”Nor is it always possible to capture other precise moments and doing so can be problematic,” she said.

Dr French said the company had not delivered value for $2210 already outlaid and ordered it to pay $710. She ordered the Mitchells to pay $60 for the meal.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.