Gant is poised to launch an etail site in the UK and Republic of Ireland in August - its first in the world.
This week, the Swedish lifestyle brand - a bread-and-butter brand for many UK independents - moved to reassure its 280 UK stockists that the site was a marketing exercise, not an attempt to steal sales from indies.
The site, www.gantuk.com, will stock just 300 items from the 6,000-piece collection, which will be split between its mainline and younger Rugger collection.
Gant UK head of merchandise Ann-Marie McDonagh said: “Our brand awareness is quite low in the UK, and we want to build it up. This will increase sales for our stockists. We have a huge number of options so our stockists will always be able to offer something different.”
Stockists contacted by Drapers said they intended to monitor the effect the site had on sales in store.
While he was not overly concerned about the launch, Andrew Chapman, owner of contemporary indie Alpha Clothing in Taunton, Somerset, said: “If Gant is offering core lines online, it could be easier for our customers to get hold of certain products if we don’t have their size in stock.”
Separately, Gant will open a flagship store on Regent Street in central London in October.
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