Gemondo Introduces The Gorgeous Zandra Rhodes Jewellery Collection

Gemondo, one of the UK largest online jewellers has introduced the gorgeous Zandra Rhodes Jewelleryinto their designer jewellery collections. Gemondo.com is an online jewellery retailer specialised in designer jewellery. It’s the only online outlet for discontinued Zandra Rhodes jewellery, and stocks the largest collection of Zandra Rhode’s jewellery in the world, many of which are offering at sales prices.

Zandra Rhodes is a famously colourful British fashion designer. She was introduced to the fashion world by her mother, who was a teacher at Medway College of Art. Zandra Rhodes graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 1964. Her major area of study was printed textile design. Zandra Rhodes is renowned for her unconventional clothes and pink hair. Her designs are considered clear, creative statements, dramatic but graceful, bold but feminine.

Zandra Rhodes was considered as one of the new wave of British designers who put London at the forefront of the international fashion scene in the 1970s. She designed costumes for Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury of Queen, and continues to design for royalty and celebrities. In May 7 2009, Zandra Rhodes teamed up with Marks & Spencer and launched a capsule collection, using her creative and iconic designs as inspiration, featuring a range of women’s wear, accessories, holiday pieces and lingerie. It turned out to be a huge success.

Zandra also has her very own collection of jewellery. Her inspiration has always come from organic material and nature, and the Zandra Rhodes Jewellery collection continues this theme. Turning silk into yellow and white gold or silver with a combination of precious and semi-precious stones, such as Sapphire, Swarovski Crystal, and Pink Tourmaline, etc. Zandra has created five different styles of beautiful and stylish necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and brooches. The Zandra Rhodes jewellery includes five separate collections, which are Oriental Whisper collection, Punk Chic Collection, Lovely Lilies collection, Signature collection and Manhattan Lady Collection.

The inspiration for the Oriental Whisper Collection was the eternal ‘wiggle’ line that is featured in nearly every one of Zandra’s fabulous textile designs, and has become the staple of Zandra’s work in this field; The inspiration for Punk Chic collection came from her days as the ‘Queen of Punk’ where her haute couture collections included torn fabrics, pinned together with safety pins. Zandra’s safety pin designs came a long time before Versace and Vivien Westwood.

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Petrol Price Hike Presents High Street Christmas Shoppers with £78 Million Bill – Before They Have Even Hit the Shops

Soaring fuel prices are forcing more consumers to shop on their computers rather than on the high street this Christmas, according to independent price comparison and switching service, uSwitch.com. A 15% rise in petrol prices since last November has pushed the bill for driving to the shops and parking the car up to a staggering £78 million – and that’s before any presents have been bought. As a result, despite the postal strikes that were widely predicted to drive consumers back onto the high street, research amongst uSwitch.com’s consumer panel reveals that over 7 out of 10 (72%) people are doing their Christmas shopping online this year.

The price of petrol, which has climbed from 95p to 109p per litre over the last 12 months has done nothing to help consumers struggling through a tough year. While pressure remains on oil companies to lower prices, the situation is not set to improve imminently. The AA has warned that end of the VAT cut will add an estimated 2.4p per litre to pump prices from January. As a result, shoppers heading onto the high street this Christmas could face fuel bills of up to £8million.

However, it is the cost of car parking that is really set to send shoppers in a spin this Christmas. With the average trip costing £9 in parking fees, consumers will be spending a staggering £70 million parking their cars to go Christmas shopping this year – nearly 10 times the cost of the fuel they use for their round trip. Of the UK’s top ten largest cities it comes as no surprise that Londoners are stung the most, paying an average of £18 for up to four hours parking, while shoppers in Bradford are charged a fifth of the price – a meagre £3.50.

In total, uSwitch.com estimates that Christmas shoppers are set to spend £78 million driving to the shops this Christmas– a bill that could be cut by staying at home and buying gifts on the internet. According to research amongst uSwitch.com’s consumer opinion panel, the recession has given rise to a new generation of online shoppers. And, contrary to speculation that postal strikes and high street discounts are preventing people from logging on, 1 in 5 (19%) consumers say they have increased the amount of web-based purchases made since the downturn began. A further quarter (26%) are planning to increase the amount of purchases they make via the web this Christmas and 6 out of 10 (59%) believe there are better bargains to be had online than on the high street.

According to the research, internet shopping has varied appeal. 75% appreciate the ease and convenience of surf-shopping compared with trudging the high street, whilst 44% cite the ability to purchase specialist items that aren’t available anywhere else as the web’s main plus point. In addition, nearly three quarters of consumers (72%) state that they find it easier to stick to a budget when shopping online – as they are more aware of the mounting totals and are less likely to succumb to the temptation of browsing. Books are the most popular items purchased on the web – hardly surprising considering the top ten bestselling paperbacks are currently offered online with a 55% discount on the recommended retail price.

Online retailers have seen a 14% growth in year on year sales with UK consumers spending an estimated £31 billion online between January and August. Amazon ranked as the number one online retailer last Christmas, and with new initiatives such as free delivery on almost all orders, looks set to hit the 36% sales growth forecast for Q4 this year.

London and Northern Ireland lead the way when it comes to online bargain hunting, spending an average of 1.48 hours shopping online every week. This is closely followed by Wales (1.46 hours), the South West (1.43), and Scotland (1.41 hours). Web users in the North East are the least frequent online shoppers, spending just 1.23 hours a week browsing for bargains.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “Consumers are fighting an ongoing battle to make their money go further. This year they have had no choice but to take a hard look at their spending and adapt their lifestyles to cope.

“Christmas shoppers heading onto the high streets are being stung not once but twice, with high prices at the pump and astronomical car park fees. It’s no wonder that many are ditching the high street and choosing to shop from the comfort of their own home. Nearly 17 million homes now have broadband – a massive jump from 7 million just three years ago – and it’s getting cheaper and faster to use. With broadband as cheap as £5.99 a month it’s easy to see why we as consumers have wholeheartedly embraced online shopping.”

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Designer Jeweler, AstleyClarke.com Wins Best Luxury Brand Online 2009

We are delighted to inform you that AstleyClarke.com has won the Walpole Award for “Best Luxury Brand Online 2009

The annual Walpole awards for Excellence took place last night (16th November 2009), at Banqueting House, London and honored those individuals and companies who have, in the views of the judges, members and industry, achieved the pinnacle of excellence across seven categories including luxury, design, online, international, overseas and emerging talent.

Designer Jeweler, AstleyClarke.com Wins Best Luxury Brand Online 2009

This year, the award for Best Luxury Brand Online was judged by leading industry experts Nathalie Massenet of Net-a-Porter, Brent Hoberman of MyDeco.com, Guy Salter of Walpole, Erik Wachtmeister of A Small World, Martin Bartle of 270 Degrees and Peter Fitzgerald of Google. Judges unanimously agreed that AstleyClarke.com has shown innovation through the use of online technology and marketing, achieving outstanding sales results and a luxury presence online in 2009. The other Nominees were: Anya Hindmarch, Cartier, Hackett, Mulberry and Louis Vuitton.

AstleyClarke.com is now the recognized home of the World’s best collection of designer jewellery and is the ultimate destination for all online jewellery gift shopping.

The award is a fitting accolade; in October AstleyClarke.com re-launched its Designer jewellery website as part of the strategic development of the Astley Clarke brand. It sits within the company’s mission to make Fine Designer Jewellery a more creative and imaginative category for a new generation of luxury consumer. This consumer embraces the attributes of ecommerce and is a high spender in the luxury arena. To compliment the launch of the new website, AstleyClarke.com also opened its newly refurbished showroom in West London.

“I am delighted AstleyClarke.com has won the Walpole Award for Best Luxury Brand Online. Astley Clarke has embraced a gap in the market for online luxury and is a pioneer in changing the way that luxury consumers shop for jewellery online – With exquisite designer jewellery, combined with a return to old-fashioned customer service of the highest standard, AstleyClarke.com has carved a unique niche for itself; moving away from a mass approach to luxury”. Bec Clarke – Founder and Managing Director

AstleyClarke.com
The new AstleyClarke.com website features outstanding jewellery photography; sophisticated gemstone search functions; zoom features and product showcases giving customers an improved view of the products, exquisite front end design, excellent faceted navigation, improved jewellery wish-list and gift reminding features. The site also houses inspirational jewellery content by the AstleyClarke.com design team, International Jewellery designers and leading fashion and jewellery editors. To educate international jewellery shoppers, Astley’s Jewellery Miscellany, written by the in-house gemmologists, covers in-depth information on gemstones, precious metals, design and craftsmanship.

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Four in Ten SME’S seeing signs of Economic Recovery

 

Greenshoots: 42% of SMEs are seeing some signs of economic recovery – but only 1% say the signs are strong

•Recovery time: 27% of SME owners predict six months to a year for their business to recover f r o m the recession, but 26% say it will take more than a year to get back on their feet again

•Growing confidence: 81% of SMEs think they will survive the recession – a 5% increase since February this year

•Trading conditions: 58% still finding it tough, but a small increase in the number now saying that the current trading environment is OK

•Recession headache: cutting costs remains the biggest issue for SMES, but cashflow concerns now taking over f r o m worries about falling demand.

Over four in ten SME owners (42%) report seeing some signs of economic recovery, with a further 1% saying that these signs are strong, according to new research f r o m uSwitchforBusiness.com.

And while the Government has been forced to acknowledge that Britain is still in a recession that is likely to be longer and deeper than originally feared, the findings reveal a small increase in the number of small businesses confident that they will survive. 81% now think that they will get through the downturn, compared with 76% in the first quarter of this year.

However, small business owners expect the recession to have a long lasting impact. Over a quarter (27%) say that it will take their business between six months and a year to get back to normal again, while 26% say that it will take them more than a year. Incredibly though, 32% say it will only take up to six months to recover with 14% of these saying it will take them no time at all to get back on their feet.

The findings come f r o m the latest uSwitchforBusiness.com SME Confidence Survey, which tracks small business confidence over time and highlights current issues and concerns facing Britain’s small traders. It shows that, despite increased optimism, 58% of small companies are finding trading conditions difficult (59% in Q1). However, there has been a small increase in those saying that current trading conditions are OK (40% compared with 38% in Q1).

Earlier in the year, cutting costs was the biggest issue for SMEs and this remains the case today with 58% of companies actively looking for ways to cut back. Similarly, the number of small companies reporting a drop in demand remains unchanged f r o m Q1 (34%). However, 35% are now experiencing cashflow concerns (up f r o m 33%) making cashflow the second biggest concern facing SME owners today.

In Q1, 19% said that the recession was having no impact on their business at all. Today this has dropped to 14%. Overall though, 62% of SME owners report that the recession has been tough, but manageable. Only 18% say that it has been very damaging to their business.

Looking forward to 2010, and with many clearly believing that there is light at the end of the tunnel, SMEs say that their biggest challenges will be increasing sales/turnover (39%), getting over the recession (19%), dealing with regulation and red tape (15%) and overcoming issues with late payments and cashflow (12%).

Jake Ridge, small business expert at www.uswitchforbusiness.com, says: “Despite having the odds stacked against them, Britain’s SMEs have battled to stay afloat and to survive the recession. It has meant making tough decisions and inevitably most small businesses have felt some pain, whether having to lay off staff, find ways to cut costs or learning to combat cashflow concerns. In the first quarter of 2009, 59% were looking for ways to cut costs and this strategy seems to have paid off as most small businesses are now feeling confident about surviving this downturn.

“Small business owners are not feeling complacent though – 43% can see signs of recovery but they know they are not out of the woods yet. They are continuing to keep a tight lid on costs and know that the next challenge comes at the end of the recession when they begin the task of building their businesses back up again.

“In this climate, shopping around for your next energy contract makes sense as no business can afford to be paying more for their energy than competitors. Once they are paying the lowest possible price for the energy they use, businesses can then focus on using less of it – these two simple steps will help them reduce costs substantially and will be a good habit to get into for the challenging times ahead.”

uSwitchforBusiness can save your business money by helping you make smarter decisions about your business electricity, communications and insurance.

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Lasoo.com.au Helps Consumers Search Out The Best Deals On Those ‘Must Have’ Products

Lasoo.com.au helps consumers search out the best deals on those ‘must have’ products to develop a shopping essentials list before hitting the stores for a day of retail therapy.

Using Lasoo means shoppers can make the most of their time by being armed with the knowledge of where to go in their local area to pick up the best bargains on what they want, making the whole shopping experience even more rewarding.

In 2009 the most searched products on Lasoo have included TVs, shoes, iPods and the Nintendo Wii. This shopping trend is set to continue as more and more people discover that by pre-shopping they can save money and time on buying those essential items, leaving plenty of time for fun – browsing and pure impulse purchases.

Picking up a bargain is always a cause for celebrations among friends, giving the savvy shopper ultimate bragging rights about their ability to hunt out a great deal. Whether looking for some winter essentials like a cute hat and scarf combo or some new trendy home accessories, Lasoo.com.au users are able to find the best prices on the latest sale items from Australia’s top retailers. These retailers include: Dick Smith, Myer, Aldi, K Mart, Toys R Us, and many more.

Visitors to Lasoo can also create personalised wishlists and email alerts, which let them know when the items they have been dreaming about go on sale.

Pre-shopping at Lasoo.com.au is changing the retail experience, offering consumers a new quick and cost-effective way to approach their shopping and still try before they buy in-store.

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New Research Reveals That 31 Million (73%) Shoppers Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands By Opting For Supermarket Own Brand Labels In Order to Save Money

As food price increases start to slow down, it’s not just the supermarkets that are busy battling the pricing war. New research from uSwitch.com reveals that 31 million (73%) shoppers are taking matters into their own hands by opting for supermarket own brand labels in a bid to save money on the weekly shop. This figure has tripled since August 2008 when just a quarter (25%) of shoppers were ditching premium labels to lighten the financial load of the weekly trolley dash.

Much of this increase can be attributed to supermarkets expanding their own brand products in a bid to stop consumers switching to cheaper chains. This includes the launch of the Waitrose ‘Essentials’ own label range, Tesco’s ‘Discounter’ range and Sainsbury’s ‘switch and save campaign’ which calculates own brand savings. Not only has this activity secured repeat visits from existing customers, according to the recent TNS Worldpanel report it has also slowed the rapid growth of overseas competitors such as Aldi, Iceland and Lidl over the past few months.

Overall, this research has revealed that nine out of ten (90%) UK adults now use recession-busting shopping strategies when they do the weekly shop. Money off vouchers have also reached the top of the shopping list with the number of frugal consumers’ regularly using these has also shot up to 74%, compared with 26% last year. In addition, a fifth of shoppers (20%) now compare prices online before taking a trip down the aisles, this has more than tripled from just 6% in August 2008.

When it comes to shopping online 6.4 million consumers now claim to avoid the hustle bustle of their local supermarket by carrying out their weekly food shop online. Again, this has tripled from just 5% of consumers in August 2008. In fact, this is becoming so popular with consumers, industry commentators predict that the value of online food sales could hit £8 billion by 2011.

These recessionary cut backs could also have positive lifestyle implications for many savvy shoppers as they revert to the good life. Almost a fifth of consumers have now taken to growing their own fruit and vegetables, up from just 8% in August 2008. This has created a waiting list for allotments across the country amongst those who do not have the option at home. Just this week, Tesco has applied for planning permission to create allotments for rent at its Dobbies Garden Centre – they also plan to sell allotment starter kits.

As a result of ‘pinching the pennies’ becoming very much the new ‘splashing the cash’, figures suggest supermarkets may turn out to be one of the few winners in the recession. For example, Morrisons has just surprised the market with an unscheduled trading update indicating full year profits would be £70 million ahead of expectations. Share prices in Sainsbury’s and Tesco have also experienced a rise.

Rumina Hassam, personal finance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “In the face of uncertain economic forecasts, continued volatility in the housing market, and worrying increases in national unemployment, Brits are making savvy cutbacks to their fundamental spending routine to beat the recession at its own game.

“The number of Brits making basic changes to their weekly food shopping patterns has increased dramatically since last year, as the effects of the recession continue to amplify. However, despite the economic outlook remaining uncertain, consumers may find they have the last laugh – as the lessons learnt from the schooling in savviness they are currently experiencing as a result of the recession will remain vital, even long after the economy recovers.”

About uSwitch:
uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and car insurance.

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Tracesmart Affiliate Program Thrives During First Quarter

Tracesmart provides an online people search search facility which enables visitors to trace family or friends via the electoral roll, or locate people they have lost contact with via a simple address search. The recently launched affiliate program works alongside the company’s other marketing activity, to further promote these services. The program is delivered and administered by the award winning Deal Media Group, a leading online marketing company which offers a platform for affiliate sales networks, referral tracking and productivity reporting to many major UK companies.

Matthew Hopkins, Internet Marketing Executive explains, “Tracesmart’s affiliate program operates by generating income from people looking to find relatives or friends. The affiliate partners agree to display a Tracesmart banner within their website and, in return, they are remunerated when they refer a visitor to Tracesmart who goes on to make a purchase. This practice is common among many companies aiming to increase their company profile and website visitor numbers. The results to date are extremely encouraging.”

Having recognised the importance of accessible research tools, Tracesmart developed their database and search facility to provide users with a reliable means to trace people. This ability to perform an electoral roll search from the comfort of one’s own home, has caught the imagination of many website owners, who have in turn become Tracesmart affiliates and are driving the success of the campaign.

“We are always looking for new ways to engage with our target audience, and affiliate programs make it possible to reach a larger number of potential customers,” comments Owen Roberts, Tracesmart’s Communications Manager, “Tracesmart’s search facility has helped many families and individuals and we are confident that visitor numbers will rise even further thanks to our new affiliate program.”

About Tracesmart:

  • Matthew Hopkins has worked within the field of Internet Marketing since 2002. He is currently responsible for driving high volumes of traffic to the Tracesmart website through SEO, PPC, Social Networking campaigns and, more recently, the company’s affiliate program.
  • Owen Roberts has worked in the creative, advertising and communications industries for over 25 years and is the voice of Tracesmart. Heading up the communications team, he raises public awareness of the company through various media driven PR campaigns.
  • Tracesmart Limited – Since the launch of its website in 2004, Tracesmart Limited has established itself as one of the UK’s leading providers of online people tracing tools. www.tracesmart.co.uk combines state of the art search technology with an extensive collection of consumer data, providing one of the most powerful and successful people tracing services in the UK.

Melrose Jewelers, U.K.’s #1 Online Rolex Retailer, Today Announced the Top 5 Rolex Super President Watches Demanded in the UK

Melrose Jewelers, U.K.’s #1 Online Rolex Watch Retailer, today announced the top 5 Rolex Super President Watch Models demanded in the United Kingdom on its website this Winter.

Ranking from 1 to 5 in popularity, the Rolex watch models Men & Women in the U.K. wanted are as follows. These models can be viewed by visiting Melrose Jewelers’ website and typing in the id # (in parentheses) in the top right search box.

1. Mens Champagne String 3ct Channel Set Rolex Day Date Super Presidential (129)

2. Men’s Champagne String Beadset Rolex Day Date Super Presidential (105)

3. Ladies Mother of Pearl Diamond Dial Rolex Super President (413)

4. Ladies Champagne Dial Rolex Super President (404)

5. Mens White Gold Pave Diamond Dial 3 Carat Channel Set Rolex Day Date Super President (136)

About Melrose Jewelers
Melrose Jewelers is the nation’s leading online retailer of Rolex wrist watches including mens watches and ladies luxury watches and its associates have, collectively, over 220 years of experience in importing, restoring, and retailing Rolex and other luxury watches. Melrose Jewelers was founded with one simple premise: Buying a Rolex or other luxury watch shouldn’t be mysterious or complicated. Similar to the innovative yet simple business models of Progressive Insurance, CarMax, or Blue Nile Melrose Jewelers provides customers with low, no-haggle pricing, luxury wrist watches that are either new and unworn or pre owned and restored to original factory specifications both inside and outside, and a comprehensive 2-year warranty. Melrose Jewelers also employs a staff of top university-educated Trained Experts that provide customer service that extends from your initial sales call until years after you’ve received your purchase. Melrose Jewelers is a proud member of the Verified Internet Diamond Purchasers Association, the Jeweler’s Vigilance Committee, the Jewelers of America, the Manufactures and Jewelers Association of America, the International Watch & Jewelry Guild, the National Association of Watch Collectors, and the California Sheriff’s Association. Melrose Jewelers uses only Conflict-Free Diamonds and those imported through the Kimberley Process as signed into act by U.S. Congress in 2003. Melrose Jewelers is not an authorized agent or affiliated with Rolex USA, Rolex S.A., Rolex International, Breitling, or Patek Philippe luxury watches. Rolex Day Date, Rolex President, Rolex GMT Master, Rolex Daytona, Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust, Rolex PearlMaster, Rolex Masterpiece, Rolex Super President, Rolex Submariner, Rolex Yacht-Master, Rolex Explorer and Rolex Sea Dweller are all trademarks of Rolex S.A.

Melrose Jewelers also hosts the Melrose Jewelers (MJ) Rolex Watch Blog. The MJ Rolex Watch Blog is the world’s largest independent forum website about Rolex events and Rolex and other luxury watches in pop culture. With over 300 user-posted articles and new articles and commentary updated daily, the Melrose Jewelers Rolex watch blog contains articles about Rolex watches owned, Warren Buffett, Tara Reid, Danica Patrick, Matthew McConaughey, Eva Longoria Parker, Tokio Hotel, Tobey Maguire, Lindsey Lohan, Eddie Murphy, Tom Selleck, Jennifer Garner, Donald Trump, Skepta, Jennifer Lopez, Lance Armstrong, John Mayer, Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt, Drew Barrymore, DJ Am, Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Jay-Z, Zara Phillips, Barack Obama, O.J. Simpson, Madonna, Ana Ivanovic, Jennifer Aniston, Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Tupac Shakur, Lily Allen, & Wiley. Blog postings on the MJ Rolex Watch Blog are submitted by independent Rolex enthusiasts and not by Melrose Jewelers.

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