Business News

High street labels are to stage their own rival showcase during London Fashion Week, hoping to benefit from London's cool quota. Participants might include Frank Usher, Jaeger and Mrs Thatcher's favourite, Aquascutum. The event could be launched as early as February 1998.

According to a Hillier Parker survey, London will have more designer floorspace in 1998 than Paris, Milan or Los Angeles. Ralph Lauren, who is to open a new store in Bond Street in 1998 is paying an annual lease of pounds 2.5m, a London record.

Paul Smith and Ghost have acquired sites in W11, fuelling retailers' hopes of a Kings Road-style revival in Notting Hill.

Marks & Spencer announced plans to create 1,700 new jobs after if broke through the pounds 1bn pre-tax profit barrier. New stores are planned for London's Covent Garden and Bristol this year.

Sources: the Independent, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, Draper's Record

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