[09/16/09 - 08:24 AM]
The Queen of Shopping Comes to BBC America
"Mary Queen of Shops" premieres Wednesday, October 14 at 9:00/8:00c on the cable channel.

[via press release from BBC America]


- U.S. Premiere of Mary Queen of Shops in October �

From the producers of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Gordon Ramsay's F Word comes the next �tough love' show, Mary Queen of Shops. The sassy and straight-talking retail guru Mary Portas saves small independent shop-owners, struggling in today's market of corporate giants and helps them re-connect with the vision and drive that first got them into the fashion business. It's not just about fixing the balance sheet - it's about helping them rediscover their spirit, enthusiasm and sense of style. Mary Queen of Shops premieres Wednesday, October 14, 9:00pm ET/PT.

Each week Mary shares the tricks and tips she's learned from her years at the leading edge of fashion retailing including clients Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols. She gives the ultimate insider's guide on how to get the most out of shops and shopping and troubleshoots her way around the UK on a mission to help turn around struggling fashion boutiques - one shop at a time.

To experience first-hand what the businesses are really like, Mary visits the boutique while the owners are away. Once they return, Mary delivers her verdict and, after a frank heart to heart talk with the owners, she goes to work, revealing to staff and viewers exactly why their choices are ruining their business.

Having identified the problems, Mary starts turning the shop around: stock, d�cor and layout are revamped before a glamorous re-launch. With front row seats at London Fashion Week and tough sessions with the key people at some of the UK's leading fashion magazines, Mary uses all the tricks of the trade to whip these shops into fashionable shape. One month later Mary pays a return visit to see whether they have stuck to her rules. Will the place be buzzing with customers? Will the stock be flying off the shelves? Will the owner be working the shop floor like a rock star? Or will the shop and its owner be back where they started, in a fashion black hole?

BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring news with a uniquely global perspective, provocative dramas, razor-sharp comedies, life-changing makeovers and a whole new world of nonfiction. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 64 million homes.


Production Company Optomen Television

Executive Producer Becky Clarke

Host Mary Portas


Retail marketing guru Mary Portas is one of the UK's foremost authorities on retail and brand communication. As founder and Creative Director at respected London retail branding and communications agency, Yellowdoor, Mary is recognized throughout the trade as the Queen of Shops. Her clients include Clarks, Louis Vuitton and Westfield. Portas was also the Creative Director of Harvey Nichols where she repositioned the Harvey Nichols brand into the world renowned store and restaurant group it is today.

Mary travels regularly and frequently lectures on the theme of branding and retail. Her first book, Windows � The Art Of Retail Display was translated into five languages, and quickly became the worldwide authority on retail display. She also writes regularly for British newspapers and magazines.



Kelvin Evans is the owner of a boutique and bar called Floyds and he has very firm ideas about the retail business. The shop, run by his partner Sharon Hunt, is a fashion car crash selling cheap end of line clothes and tacky accessories. All the female inhabitants of the town stay away and Kelvin can't understand why. When Mary, not one to mince her words, attempts to explain why, the first of many heated exchanges takes place. She's convinced they should be targeting the fashion conscious 20-something crowd and asks them to have a go at styling Miss Wales and her friends for a night out. It's a disaster and the young girls end up looking more street walk than catwalk. Events come to a head and Mary decides she can no longer work with Kelvin. Will Sharon step up and start to take control and does she have the confidence and ability to turn Floyds around? Episode 1 premieres Wednesday, October 14, 9:00pm ET/PT


Ju-Ju, a unisex fashion store run by couple Soly and Tim, is dated and the stock is down-market. They've been deserted in favor of new, low-budget retail competitors and they're hemorrhaging money every week. They're surrounded by potential customers, �fashion rebels' - distinctive dressers with money to burn - but instead only offer cheap student garb to a dwindling clientele. Enter Mary, who prescribes an instant fix of cool for her unfashionable duo via a whirlwind tour of the latest hip collections and cutting edge designers. It's an opportunity for them to inject some happening fashion sense onto their lackluster shop floor. But with only five weeks in which to execute a complete reversal of fortune, she's not sure Soly and Tim are up to the task. Can they cope with Mary's extreme medicine, or will they retreat back from the challenge into what Mary's dubbed their schizophrenic insecurity? Episode 2 premieres Wednesday, October 21, 9:00pm ET/PT


Diana Lazzaris owns and runs a boutique called 117, last year it made a loss of almost $150,000 and without Mary's help, this season could well be her last. Diana should be making a fortune in stylish and affluent town of Surrey but the fashion conscious forty-plus women, �Forever Forties� as Mary calls them, are choosing to shop elsewhere. Mary thinks the urn of plastic flowers in the window and packed racks of suits and fluffy slippers mark 117 out as more of a destination for the senior set than a boutique for the �Forever Forties.� Mary takes Diana to Chelsea to visit one of the world's most respected and glamorous independent fashion boutiques, Browns, where clothes are displayed with passion and flair and there's not a fluffy slipper in sight. Then Mary introduces her to Nicole Farhi's latest collection and gets her to practice her styling skills on a �Woman & Home� magazine photoshoot. Can Diana make her boutique a joy to shop in and a magnet for stylish customers with money to spend? Or is 117's number truly up? Episode 3 premieres Wednesday, October 28, 9:00pm ET/PT

More synopses forthcoming.

  [september 2009]  


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