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News and Business New face at iTablet Europe


iTablet Europe has appointed Paul Maiden as retail sales director. He has joined the company to manage the launch of the new iTablet range of Windows and Android based tablet computers that will be initially offered through major high street retailing groups across the UK and Europe. iTablet Europe is currently gearing up to launch the iTablet range and is in the final stages of discussions with TV-based retailers, multiple high street retailers and major supermarket chains. It also intends to pursue significant opportunities with leading service providers, including some of the UK’s largest mobile phone retailers.


Wagamama to open in Belfast


Trendy noodle and rice bar Wagamama is to open in Belfast’s Victoria Square, creating up to 50 restaurant jobs. The franchise already has four restaurants in the Irish Republic.


Mary Queen of Shops master classes


Mary Portas has launched a series of master classes aimed at giving small and independent retailers the competitive edge to compete in today’s tough retail climate. Portas said at the launch: ‘We’re losing independents from our high street; we have huge multiples that are driving in with sophisticated operations and we need to bring that sophistication and knowledge in a different way to the independent sector.’ Delivered exclusively through the National Skills Academy for Retail’s network of 31 retail skills shops throughout the country, the master classes are made up of step-by-step guides, interactive workshops, video case studies and an offering of Portas’ own extensive retail knowledge. Anne Seaman, chief executive of Skillsmart Retail, comments: ‘We all know that small towns and villages and high streets up and down the country are suffering in the current economic climate, but it is really important that we have a range of retail on the high streets, and this programme will really help independent retailers make their offer more attractive to their local customers.’ Portas added: ‘It’s actually a real look at how to compete against the massive high street today and train up independents in every facet of retailing that’s relevant to modern retailing.’ If you would like to join, go to www.nsaforretail.com 8


Tesco launches new app


Tesco has launched its first transactional mobile app. Tesco has already released several apps, including the Clubcard and Store Finder apps, but this is the first app that allows customers to purchase items on a mobile phone.


Chanel on Bond Street


Luxury retail brand Chanel has paid a record fee to secure premises on London’s Bond Street. Chanel has agreed to pay more than £4m in cash to rent the shop on Bond Street given competition for the site from other upmarket brands and to cover the costs of the previous occupiers leaving. It will also pay a near record rent for a building of its size. The premium fee paid by Chanel for the building, which is opposite the new Louis Vuitton flagship store, is more than the last record cash payment made by Mui Mui for a nearby outlet.


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