Ram Truck and Lucchese collaborate on range of handcrafted boots

Two iconic brands, Ram Truck and Texas-based bootmaker Lucchese, have collaborated on the launch of a premium, western-infused and handcrafted boot collection inspired by the craftsmanship and quality materials that are the hallmarks of the 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition.

“We’re excited to launch our design collaboration with premium boot maker Lucchese, showcasing again how the Ram Truck brand takes great pride in delivering a high level of quality and craftsmanship in every product delivered to customers,” says Marissa Hunter, Ram Truck Vice President of Marketing, North America.

“This one-of-a-kind collection brings together these two high-end brands, drawing inspiration from the premium materials featured inside the Ram Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition.”

Carefully designed with the utmost attention to detail and built to the ultimate specifications of Ram truck customers, the handcrafted boot collection includes five styles of Ram-branded boots: three for men and two for women.

“With any partnership Lucchese enters, we look for shared values and common purpose,” says Doug Hogue, Vice President of Product and Marketing for Lucchese. “Ram Truck clearly exemplifies a drive and desire to provide the highest quality and most premium experiences to their customers. At Lucchese, we feel the same.

“Together, we have been able to celebrate the beauty and craft that unites us through the western lifestyle.”

To commence the collaboration, both the Ram Truck brand and Lucchese dive deeper into the creative process, creation and execution of the boot collection on Ram’s Behind the Badge hub, featuring an interview with Ryan Nagode, Chief Interior Designer, Ram Truck brand, and Trey Gilmore, Director of Product Development, Lucchese.

The full collection is available now for pre-order at https://lucchese.com.


Peppa Pig and Hunter launch second collection of wellies, backpacks, and accessories

Hasbro and Entertainment One’s Peppa Pig is at it again, helping kids prepare for all of those muddy puddles with the launch of a second collaboration collection of children’s wellies and accessories with Hunter.

Following on the heels of the successful first launch collection, the latest line up – featuring the Kids First Muddy Puddles Wellington boot, Backpack, Umbrella, and Kids Boots Socks – will be launching in time for the start of a new school year on August 2nd this year.

Through its partnership with Hunter, Peppa Pig continues to celebrate and encourage a love of nature and adventure. Each product features an exclusive camouflage pattern of Peppa Pig splashing in puddles. The print incorporates rain droplets and Peppa Pig herself wearing boots, a rain jacket and holding a Hunter umbrella.

The boot has been handcrafted from natural vegan rubber offering 100 waterproof protection and features the playful camouflage puddle print, available in Dragon Fly, Yarrow and Rose Metal.

Ranging from £25 to £50 the collection will be available online at Hunterboots com, Hunter retail stores and selected retailers from August 2nd 2021.

Mad Beauty become year-round gifting partner for Boots with Never Too Old For range

The health and beauty outfit, Mad Beauty has become a year-round gifting partner for the high street retailer, Boots, thanks to the launch of its Never Too Old For range of fully licensed products.

Under the new deal, Mad Beauty’s range of bath and body creations – which feature classic Disney characters – will become a part of the UK retailer’s year-round beauty and gifting collection. The extended partnership was drawn up following the strong Christmas performance of Mad Beauty’s licensed and new ranges.

A spokesperson from the Boots buying team, said: “As a lifelong super-fan, it’s extra exciting to be working with Mad on this project. Our priority at Boots is to make sure we can offer the very best products to our customers in stores and on Boots.com.

“It’s great to be working with such a creative and forward-thinking brand such as Mad Beauty and to be able to bring ideas in my head to life! After a great performance at Christmas, it was the logical next step to include the collection in to our year-round gifting assortment.”

Mad Beauty’s managing director, Trevor Cash, added: “We have always said that a gift is not just for Christmas and here at Mad HQ we are really excited that our customers will be able to enjoy our fun beauty gifting items all year.”

Even in the toughest of years, Mad Beauty has continued to see ‘huge UK and international expansion’ and both Disney and Boots have been valued partners in helping drive this growth for the company.

Disney, John Lewis, and Argos join BRC charter of 55 retailers with pledge for better diversity and inclusion

More than 50 major retailers, including The Disney Store, John Lewis, Argos, and The Very Group have signed to a new charter to take ‘decisive action’ to improve their diversity and inclusion practices.

It follows research from the British Retail Consortium that discovered that seven out of ten (around 69 per cent) of retail firms have top three board positions – chair, chief executive, and chief financial officer – all filled by men.

The same research found that more than one in five retailers have no women at all on their Boards, while 15 per cent have no women on their executive committees. Only 9.6 per cent of the industry’s CEOs are women, and only 4.3 per cent of the sector’s Chairs are women.

This is despite the matter that 58 per cent of the retail workforce is made up of women.

Compiled by the BRC in collaboration with PwC and MBS Group, the research also found that retail ‘has very few black or ethnic minority leaders,’ highlighting that 4.5 per cent of Boards, 5.8 per cent of Executive Committees, and six per cent of Direct Reports to Boards are from an ethnic minority background.

Diversity and inclusion has been highlighted as a priority by some 84 per cent of retailers, but only half or retail employees agree that D&I is sufficiently high up their employers’ agenda.

The likes of Sainsbury’s, Asda, LIDL, and Boots have now joined a group of more than 50 retailers to have signed the charter, pledging to improve their diversity and inclusion practices on all grounds.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Retail revolves around the customer, and to serve the needs of a diverse country, we need a diversity of ideas, experiences and backgrounds across our businesses.

“Five years ago, the BRC set out a vision for Better Jobs and aspired for retail to be a Diversity and Inclusion leader. The data collected by PwC and The MBS Group in our Diversity and Inclusion in retail report shows there is so much more to be done if we are to reach this goal.

“Nonetheless, I am confident about the road ahead. The first step to achieving change is acknowledgement and understanding of where the challenges lie. Now, we must act. I am proud to see so many retailers pledge to better their businesses and create equal opportunities for all and I am excited to see what the future holds once greater diversity and inclusion is achieved.”

Elliott Goldstein, managing partner at The MBS Group, added: “Retail leadership continues to be unrepresentative of the UK population in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, disability and social mobility.

“Given that women make up 64.3 per cent of the retail workforce, and are responsible for up to 80 per cent of purchasing decisions, it should not be the case in 2021 that women are under-represented at all leadership levels – including in the top role, where under 10 per cent of CEOs are women.

“One in five retailers still have all male boards, and 15 per cent of Executive Committees have no women. Likewise, the level of ethnic minority representation amongst the industry’s leaders falls well short compared to the wider population; our research shows that 81 per cent of the largest retailers have all white boards – and 68 per cent have no ethnic minority leadership on their Executive Committees.

“Whilst undoubtedly significant change has been driven in the last decade, there is still a long way to go.”

Mothercare signs off franchise partnership with UK high street retailer Boots

The baby products specialist brand Mothercare has signed off a franchise deal with the high street retailer Boots that will see the pharmacy chain sell Mothercare products within its branches and online. Mothercare wnet into administration last year and was forced to close all of its UK shops in January this year.

The deal with Boots was first detailed in December 2019, but has suffered repeated delays drawn out by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The franchising agreement will now run in the UK and Ireland for an initial period of 10 years. Mothercare has stated that the deal will take effect as of this autumn.

“Boots is at the heart of one of the largest healthcare businesses in the world and Mothercare will dovetail well as the specialist brand for parents and young children in both Boots stores and online,” Mothercare said in an update on its restructuring plan.

Mothercare’s UK business went into administration in November last year and all its 79 UK outlets were subsequently closed. There are still 800 stores in 40 other territories, all operated by franchise partners.

Mothercare said it had signed a new 20-year deal with its biggest franchise partner, the Alshaya Group, which operates Mothercare stores in Russia and 10 Middle Eastern countries.

It said that the restructuring of its UK business had substantially reduced its debts, but estimated that it still had outstanding obligations worth about £10m.

Boots to cut 4,000 jobs and John Lewis to close eight of its 50 stores in amid Covid-19 fallout

The UK retailer, Boots is to cut 4,000 jobs, its parent company Walgreen Boots Alliance has announced, having been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures. The company said it will cut around seven per cent of its UK workforce.

According to Walgreens, sales at Boots have plunged during the lockdown.

“The adverse impact of Covid-19 on sales in the quarter was approximately $700 million to $750 million, with the majority of the impact related to the Retail Pharmacy International division,” the company said in a statement released today. “This reflected a dramatic reduction in footfall in Boots UK stores – down 85 per cent in April, as consumers were advised to leave home only for food and medicine.”

Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO, Stefano Pessina has said: “Prior to the pandemic our financial performance for fiscal 2020 was on track with our expectations. However, this unprecedented global crisis led to a loss in the quarter as stay-at-home orders affected all of our markets.

“Shopping patterns are evolving more rapidly than ever as consumers further embrace digital options, spurring us to accelerate our ongoing investments in digital transformation and neighbourhood health destinations.”

Boots’ announcement follows further bad news for retail as John Lewis detailed its own plans to close eight of its 50 stores this morning, including major outlets in Birmingham and Watford. The closure will result in the loss of around 1,300 jobs.

All four of the group’s smaller At Home stores, in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth, are to close as well as two outlets in travel hubs at Heathrow and St Pancras station in London, reports The Guardian.

The Group has said that the eight shops were already ‘financially challenged’ before the outbreak of coronavirus, but that the pandemic had accelerated the move from in-store shopping to online. Figures state that before the virus hit, 40 per cent of John Lewis sales were online, but since the pandemic, this could now be closer to 60 to 70 per cent of total sales this year and next.

Sharon White, the chairman of the department store’s parent group – the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Closing a shop is always incredibly difficult and today’s announcement will come as very sad news to customers and partners. However, we believe closures are necessary to help us secure the sustainability of the partnership, and continue to meet the needs of our customers and wherever they want to shop.

“Redundancies are always an absolute last resort and we will do everything we can to keep as many partners as possible within our business.

“There are many reasons to be optimistic about the Partnership’s future. Waitrose and John Lewis are two of the UK’s most loved and trusted brands and we have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic by responding to the new needs of customers. We will soon announce the output of our strategic review which will ensure our brands stay relevant for future generations of customers.”