Leica opens exciting store exclusively at Starhill Gallery
The Star, 16 October 2012
Leica is taking matters into its own hands to improve its digital cameras. All future generations of Leica cameras will use sensors and processors fully developed in-house, said the renowned German camera maker.
Turning KL into a 'mini Basel'
Business Times, 16 October 2012
For Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping - managing director of YTL Corp Bhd and also a frequent Baselworld visitor - the vision is to turn Kuala Lumpur into a "mini Basel", where it attracts luxury watch makers and principals, as well as jewellery designers to showcase their innovations and prototypes in Asia.
Yeoh believes the goal is reasonable as Kuala Lumpur is currently one of the preferred destinations for global watch brands.
"Many years ago, we saw the trend of increasing Asian buyers for luxury watches, we also saw the trend of watch makers wanting a bigger presence in the region. So, we did a lot of homework and found that Malaysia can be the centre of all watches and give these watch brands a big home.
"So, we converted a department store - stripped it and dedicated two floors to luxury watches and jewellery.
"We began to attract many big brands and they were excited to have a mall owner with vision. They have always been wanting to exhibit their power and innovation in Asia, but the rentals in Asia are quite expensive.
"In Hong Kong, a sq ft for prime area can be above RM1,000. Here, they are only paying RM30 to RM40," explained Yeoh. It is also due to low rentals that makes Kuala Lumpur one of the better margin operations.
"In terms of sales per sq ft, KL is the best. Meaning, KL may not sell more watches than Hong Kong, but because of the rent, it has the sales per sq ft efficiency - the margins are very good. So, with huge-enough volume, it makes it very viable for watch principals to invest here," he said.
Yeoh believes it is only a matter of time before Kuala Lumpur will turn into a "mini Basel". Last year, he managed to convince a watch maker to showcase its prototype during the A Journey Through Time exhibition.
"This year, I have managed to convince 10 brands so far," he added.
YTL's Journey in Creating Masterpieces
Kuala Lumpur, 10 October 2012
Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr) Francis Yeoh, Managing Director, YTL Corporation Bhd commented, “For Kuala Lumpur to be a powerful retail centre, you have to do many things. You have to have a street like Bintang Walk. You have to have shops that are powerful. You have to have retail experiences that are just as powerful to complement the street.”
He added, “Flagship stores can show the power of their brand and artistry. That is how we attracted so many flagship stores of brands that have never established flagship stores ever in the world. Quickly Kuala Lumpur became the centre of global fine watch retailers.”
With each year passing year, A Journey Through Time, Asia’s grandest luxury watch and jewellery showcase, has grown from strength to strength and this year the iconic event will feature over 120 leading brands that will participate by exhibiting first-in-market editions of luxurious watches and jewellery pieces amounting to hundred of millions in value. Starhill Gallery’s Adorn floor is the biggest dedicated watch floor in the world and features renowned brands such as Rolex, Franck Muller, Mouawad, Richard Mille, Bedat & Co, Chopard, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Carrera Y Carrera and Boucheron which are all available throughout A Journey Through Time VI.
For the first time in Asia, world renowned brands Garrard, Maitres du Temps, Cecil Purnell and Gübelin boutiques will be launched in Starhill Gallery during the event. These brands are all setting up shop exclusively in Starhill Gallery. Maitres du Temps aims to make its mark at A Journey Through Time VI with not only launching its first Asian boutique but also unveiling the elegant Chapter Two TCR – Big Date Instantaneous Triple Calendar and the stylish Chapter Three Reveal-It’s A Revelation. Gübelin will also launch its boutique shop and use the opportunity to reveal its spectacular high jewellery Madagascar Collection with beautiful oval cut emeralds the key feature of the design.
The spectacular event upholds Starhill Gallery’s status as Malaysia’s premium shopping centre which offers shopping privileges and a duty-free haven for the world’s biggest names in high-end timepieces and jewellery. In conjunction with the event, there are special hotel packages available at the JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur and The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur for those travelling into the city for the luxury showcase.