Thursday, November 20, 2008

Atkinsons Carillon Tower in London

Atkinsons Carillon is the only carillon tower in London.

See the detailed information found at:

British Carillon Society

London Remembers

The Plaque

Atkinsons Carillon is located atop Atkinson's Building at 24 Old Bond Street. It has 23 bells which are described in detail at the Westminster Love's guide.

Some of the links on this posting take you to websites which have better photos of Atkinsons Carillon than we show you here, but for our photos here we had to take the weather, the hour - and camera - as they were. There are only a limited number of carillons in the world, and there is an incomplete list in the Wikipedia at List of carillons. Our own domicile, Traben-Trarbach, in Germany has an Old City Tower with a carillon, restored in the year 2004.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Handbags to high heels at Selfridges : The Man Who Made Shopping Fun : How Many Shopping Days are Left Until Christmas?

The founder of Selfridges was the first entrepreneur to promote retail Christmas sales using the phrase "Only (so many) Shopping Days Until Christmas".

Christmas 2008. "Handbags to high heels" at Selfridges.

As written at the Wikipedia, Selfridges is the 2nd largest department store in the UK after Harrods, and, amazingly enough, it was founded by an American:

"Selfridges is a chain of department stores in the United Kingdom ... founded by American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge. The flagship store in London's Oxford Street is the second largest [department store] in the UK (after Harrods) and was opened on 15 March 1909....

... Selfridge was born in 1858 in Ripon, Wisconsin, and in 1879 joined Field, Leiter and Company (later to become Marshall Field & Company), where he worked under the Chicago retailer of the same name. He worked his way up through the firm, married into the prominent Buckingham family, and amassed the fortune with which he built his new London store.

Selfridge's innovative marketing led to his success. He tried to make shopping a fun adventure instead of a chore. He put merchandise on display so customers could examine it, put the highly profitable perfume counter front-and-centre on the ground floor, and established policies that made it safe and easy for customers to shop — techniques that have been adopted by modern department stores the world over."

Piccadilly Circus, London, England, UK

Piccadilly Circus is London's comparable to New York's Times Square. These are the neon signs viz. LED screens on the northwest side of Piccadilly Circus. As written at the Wikipedia:

"Piccadilly Circus used to be surrounded by illuminated advertising hoardings on buildings, starting in the early 1900s, but only one building now carries them, namely the one in the north-western corner, between Shaftesbury Avenue and Glasshouse Street. The site is unnamed (usually referred to as Monico after the Café Monico which used to be on the site); its addresses are 44/48 Regent Street, 1/6 Sherwood Street, 17/22 Denman Street and 1/17 Shaftesbury Avenue, and has been owned by property investor Land Securities Group since the 1970s.

The earliest signs used incandescent light bulbs, these were replaced with neon lamps, as well as moving signs (there was a large Guinness clock at one time). From December 1998 digital projectors were briefly used for the Coke sign, while the early 2000s have seen a gradual move to LED displays. The number of signs has reduced over the years as the rental costs have increased.

As of 2008, the site has six illuminated advertising screens above three large retail units, facing Piccadilly Circus on the north side, occupied by Boots, and GAP and a mix of smaller retail, restaurant and office premises fronting the other streets. A Burger King located under the Samsung advert which had been previously a Wimpy Bar until the late 1980s had closed in early 2008 and is presently being converted into a Barclays Bank.

Coca-Cola have had a sign at Piccadilly Circus since 1955. The current sign dates from September 2003, when the previous digital projector board and the site formerly occupied by Nescafé was replaced with a state-of-the-art LED video display that curves round with the building. On November 23, 2007 the very first film was broadcast through the board. Paul Atherton's film The Ballet of Change: Piccadilly Circus was allowed five minutes to show the first non-commercial film depicting the history of Piccadilly Circus and the lights.

The former Nescafé advert site had also been occupied by a neon advertisement for Fosters until about 1999 and for three months in 2002 between the display of the Nescafé advert and the enlarged Coca Cola advert this part of Piccadilly Circus had featured the quote "Imagine all the people living life in peace" by the late Beatle John Lennon. This was paid for by his wife Yoko Ono who spent an estimated £150,000 to display an advert at this location.

Sanyo's sign is the oldest out of the six, the current incarnation having been installed in the late 1980s and remaining unchanged ever since. However, earlier Sanyo signs with older logos have occupied that position since at least 1980.

TDK replaced the space formerly occupied by Kodak in 1990. Their sign has remained almost unchanged since, although in 2001 the colour of the background lamps were changed from green to blue, and the words 'Audio & Video Tape' and 'Floppy Disks' under the logo was removed.

McDonald's added a sign in the mid-1980s, replacing one for BASF. In 2001 the sign was changed from neon to an animated LED screen, which was further changed to a bigger, brighter LED screen in 2008.

Samsung replaced a sign for Panasonic in November 1994, and the sign was upgraded from neon to LED in 2005.

Piccadilly Lite was added on 3 December 2007, placed under the Samsung and McDonald's signs. This is an LED screen that allows other companies to advertise for both short and long term leases, increasing the amount of advertising space but using the same screen for multiple brands."

Debenhams Celebrates Christmas 2008 Early

Debenhams department store on Oxford Street, London already has glittery Christmas decorations covering the entire front facade. Debenhams describes itself as:

[A] leading department stores group. Debenhams has a strong presence in key product categories including womenswear, menswear, homewares, health and beauty, accessories, lingerie and childrenswear. A unique mix of exclusive own brands, including Designers at Debenhams, and third-party brands helps differentiate Debenhams from its competitors.

Debenhams has 147 stores including 10 Desire by Debenhams stores, across the UK and Ireland with approximately 10.9 million square feet of trading space and around 21,500 employees.

In addition Debenhams has 40 international franchise stores in 16 countries outside the UK and Ireland. Debenhams is also extending its customer reach by making direct sales through its internet website.

Debenhams has a successful own brand portfolio of approximately 55 own brands (such as Debut, Maine New England, Red Herring and Thomas Nash) including 25 Designers at Debenhams brands. The Designers at Debenhams range offers customers exclusive product lines at mainstream prices by designers such as Jasper Conran, Julien Macdonald, John Rocha and Matthew Williamson. Third party brands are either bought by Debenhams (such as Estée Lauder and Levi Strauss) or available through in-store concessions (such as Oasis).

Photo Blog of the World Launched : Give Me Liberty in London : A Unique Department Store Celebrates Style


Photo Blog of the World is launched today.

Our first photograph is of the Tudor wing of the
Liberty department store in London at night, October 30, 2008, taken from the intersection of Great Marlborough Street and Argyll Street.

Harrods in London is better known, Westfield London is newer and KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) in Berlin may have the preferred selection of foods and wares, but the exterior of the Tudor wing of Liberty is probably the most aesthetically appealing.

As related at The Earthly Paradise, the department store owes its name to Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty:

"Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty was born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England

In 1875, Arthur opened his own store, Liberty and Co. in Regent Street, London....

In the beginning, Liberty worked with a number of popular fashions, but as time went on the store evolved its own style firmly rooted in the Arts and Crafts tradition. Later it was one of the first places to popularize Art Nouveau (in Italy, Art Nouveau was actually called "Stile Liberty")....

Liberty of London made Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau styles much more accessible." [links added]

A more detailed version of the life of Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty, including a portrait of the founder, is found at the website pages of the The Archibald Knox Society, where it is written:

"The store became the most fashionable place to shop in London and iconic liberty fabrics were used for both clothing and furnishings. Its clientele was exotic, and included famous members of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.... Liberty himself said that his store aimed for "the production of useful and beautiful objects at prices within the reach of all classes." [link added]

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