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By Malene Birger gears up for UK retail launch

Danish premium womenswear brand By Malene Birger is preparing to make its first foray into the UK retail market.

The brand, which has 90 wholesale stockists in the UK, plans to open a 2,098 sq ft store at 28-29 Marylebone High Street in March.

The brand said it would make its UK retail debut on the back of its “successful” wholesale operation and has signed a deal with its UK agent Inexcess Fashion, which will run the store as a franchise operation.

By Malene Birger currently has 10 standalone stores - seven of which are franchise stores and three company-owned - in eight countries including Denmark, Norway, Russia and Kuwait.

The business would not be drawn on how many stores it wants to open long term in the UK, but it is expected to scout for further locations if the first opening is deemed a success.

Inexcess Fashion director Malene Majlund said: “We’ve been working on expanding into retail over the past couple of years and now we’ve found the right location. Our retail philosophy reflects our wholesale philosophy, which is to keep the brand well distributed but still exclusive. We will review our retail position later this year.”

Inexcess Fashion is also mooting a concession strategy for the brand. Majlund said: “We are interested in exploring different solutions with our department store stockists and concessions could be a possibility.”

By Malene Birger’s department store stockists include Selfridges and Liberty.

Inexcess Fashion has informed all its wholesale stockists of the planned retail launch and said feedback has been positive.

Fiona Sanderson, who stocks the brand in the Richmond, south-west London branch of her three-store premium womenswear indie Feather & Stitch, said: “I was pleased to hear about it because I think it will raise consumer awareness of the brand, which will ultimately help wholesale stockists.”

By Malene Birger is jointly owned by IC Companys, the parent group behind womenswear brands InWear and Matinique, and creative director Malene Birger.

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