Women's Wear Daily

Turkish Currency Crisis a Tourist Boon

Istanbul — “We’re completely sold out on classic bags in all colors if any of you are waiting for them,” a woman hastily announced Tuesday, stepping out of the Chanel store at Istanbul’s high-end shopping mall, Istinye Park, and disappointing several shoppers in a long line of luxury consumers. “I really wanted one of those classic bags. They never go out of fashion,” said Amal Al Enizi, 20, visiting from Kuwait. She was patiently waiting for her turn as the rapid devaluation of the Turkish lira against the U.S. dollar presented a fortuitous opportunity for tourists who chose Turkey for shopping. The doors of Dior, Louis Vuitton and Fendi were equally busy even though almost all adjusted their price tags in line with the lira that plummeted by 18 percent against the dollar in a matter of hours on Friday. Even the opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development party, who have long cautioned about a looming economic crisis in light of the fiscal policies they criticized, failed to anticipate a tremor of such magnitude. Money markets so far have remained indifferent to reassurances of calm by Berat Albayrak, the new economy minister and Erdogan’s son-in-law as well as the Central Bank’s move

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Retail Analysts Tout Shopping as Experience, Bullish on Holiday

In another sign that retailing remains robust, The Retail Economist-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index showed a 3 percent gain year-over-year. Week to week, though, the index declined by 1.2 percent. But Michael Niemira, chief economist of The Retail Economist LLC, said the week-to-week drop followed a sharp spike from the previous week. The gains were made as the back-to-school shopping season reached its peak and the National Retail Federation, as well as other analysts and consultants, took a bullish view on this year’s upcoming holiday shopping season. Moreover, shopping is once again seen as “an experience” — which at least one analyst said is key to competing against Amazon. In a report from Telsey Advisory Group, analysts at the firm compared this b-t-s season with prior years and noted that “contrary to rumor, retail is not dead.” Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer of the National Retail Federation, told WWD this week that “people are shopping and they are responding positively to the new structures retailers have deployed and in the way they’re being engaged.” In the TAG report, Dana Telsey, chief research officer of the namesake company, said during her firm’s annual b-t-s shopping tour, all “the stores were doing business, and

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Happy Returns Goes to College

Happy Returns, a three-year-old service that makes returns easy for those shopping online, is expanding its network of drop-off locations or “return bars” to colleges and universities. Since July 2, return bars opened in Portland State University, the University of Arizona and North Carolina State. Happy Returns will also enter the University of Washington and Gonzaga University in September. “College students are a great fit for Happy Returns since they do most of their shopping online, don’t want to bother with printing shipping labels and crave an easy and immediate refund,” said David Sobie, cofounder and chief executive officer of Happy Returns, based in Santa Monica, Calif. “They are also passionate about preserving the environment so they appreciate Happy Returns’ box-free returns producing lower carbon emissions than other return methods.” So far, about two dozen brands, most selling apparel and accessories, participate in the Happy Returns service, including Everlane, Eloquii, Untuckit, Rothy’s, Jaanuu, Carbon38 and Thursday Boot. The brands inform their customers about the Happy Returns option, which makes returns easy since no packing, labeling, mailing or receipts are required, just dropping off at the return bar. Happy Returns operates inside campus bookstores, though future drop-off locations could be elsewhere in student unions. College

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