The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 6 April 2016

Image: Danish Broadcasting Corporation

Making a mark

Danish state broadcaster DR is maintaining its streak as Europe’s hit-thriller factory with the success of its latest drama Bedrag (Follow the Money). With the show having just passed the halfway point in its run on the UK’s BBC4, DR has already gone into production for a second series of the slicky shot show that follows the highs and lows of criminal life in Denmark. If Piv Bernth, head of drama at DR, hasn’t picked up a few medals for her contribution to cultural and commercial exports for the kingdom – she was also the executive producer behind Forbrydelsen (The Killing) – she’s due a call from the palace. Likewise South Korean-Danish actor Thomas Hwan, who plays the role of Alf (a finance cop), is probably ready for his close-up in a Prada campaign.

Image: Bloomberg/Getty Images

New tricks

One of the world’s oldest corporations, Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), founded in what is now the Canadian Arctic in 1670, is trying something new. The debut of Hudson’s Bay Home – the first interiors-only shop in the HBC family – opened this week in Winnipeg. Its launch comes at a buoyant time for the storied Canadian department-store chain, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. Its fourth-quarter postings released on Monday showed soaring profits at CA$370m (€247m), up from the CA$115m (€77m) it made during the same period a year earlier. The arrival of Hudson’s Bay Home is the latest in a string of offshoots launched by CEO Jerry Storch, who oversaw the launch of the Saks Off 5th brand and recently debuted an off-price sister company to Lord & Taylor. “We’re constantly innovating and trying new things,” Storch told Monocle late last year. “It is one of the most important competitive advantages that we have.”

Image: Chee Hong

Fresh blend

Wan Chai’s claim to be the coffee hub of Hong Kong has taken a hit this month with the opening of Koffee. Eiichi Kunimoto, founder of the Japanese independent coffee shop, stated his intention to open his first overseas outlet in Hong Kong in a letter to customers at the end of last year. The announcement came as he revealed he was closing his original Tokyo shop Omotesando Koffee (pictured), which was hidden a few streets from the iconic Omotesando shopping strip. His choice of venue in Hong Kong’s newly opened Lee Tung Avenue could not be more different. The kitsch east-meets-west pedestrian street is a mixed residential and commercial development spearheaded by Hong Kong’s Urban Renewal Authority. Hong Kong Koffee is sure to benefit from the foot traffic, while the glitzy Lee Tung Avenue could use an extra shot of charm.

Image: Andreas Jakwerth

The Monocle Quality of Life Conference

If you’re interested in the world of retail, the question of how to set up shop – and thrive – in a city is an increasingly pressing matter. It’s a question that will be addressed at Monocle’s Quality of Life Conference, on Friday 15 to Sunday 17 April in Vienna. Experts, CEOs, creative directors and more will be getting together to offer insights and new ideas on how retail can not only flourish but help improve cities too. There will also be exclusive access to ateliers and shops in Vienna that are helping to define quality of life in the city. Interested in attending? Book your tickets here.

From Monocle 24

Image: Tom Parnell

Park Hill, Sheffield

Park Hill is a housing estate in Sheffield and the largest listed building in Europe. Opened in 1961, we tell the story of its rise, fall and reappraisal.

From Monocle Films

Warsaw: Pole position

Warsaw’s dour-from-afar image is dispelling as a new generation of makers, restaurateurs and start-ups help to redefine Poland’s capital.

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