Thursday, 26 March 2009

Agent Optimism

Fashionista is excited at the news that Agent Provocateur has released plans for growth. Lingerie appears to be outperforming clothing in the current climate and in response, Agent Provocateur intends to more than double the number of its stores and concessions up to 2012. The retailer has at present 43 outlets in total, including 13 new outlets that have opened since 2007.

Another retailer, Supergroup with its brands Cult Clothing and Superdry are also reported to be planning expansion. The company currently has 22 stores in the UK and plans to open another 40 stores over the next three years. Commenting in the Guardian, Rupert Eastell, head of retail at accountants BDO Stoy Hayward (and a friend of Fashionista) pinpoints Superdry as one of the biggest retail recession-busters. He says "Mainstream fashion is all about who is doing least worst at the moment. Sales are likely to go down 15% this year. Success is about niche players and those two [referring to Superdry and Jack Wills] have really found a niche".

There also appears to be further movement in the market at Westfield, the recently completed shopping centre in White City, London. Footwear retailers, Deichmann and Foot Asylum and Bebe Bisou, a luxury children's fashion chain are all committed to taking leases. Since Westfield's launch in October 2008, more than 40 new stores have opened.

Fashionista thinks it nice to hear some good news stories in these troubled times!