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House of Fraser to up own-label offer

House of Fraser has committed to dramatically increase its proportion of own-label.

The department store retailer, which revealed yesterday that like-for-like sales were on an improving trend, said that it planned to increase the proportion of own-label brands to between 30 and 40% of its total offer, up from 9% currently.

Chief executive John King said that the retailer would accommodate the influx of own-label brands – dubbed “house brands” – though the transformation of underutilised space in its 62-stores.

He said that concession brands would not be squeezed out by the strategy and that buying budgets for brands would remain the same.

House of Fraser wants to bolster its own-label strategy, which will improve margins, through brand acquisitions and licensing deals.

House of Fraser, which has house brands including Howick, Kenneth Cole New York, Untold and Therapy, has acquired the European licence for US brands T Tahari and Charlotte Ronson’s I Heart Ronson.

King added that  the company was in discussions with other American brands, which would benefit from the retailer’s prime locations around the country to launch in the UK.

The retailer will focus on improving its womenswear offer and drafted in Stephanie Chen last month - who was involved in the creation of Debenhams’ Designers at Debenhams range - as head of womenswear, to drive the initiative.

Menswear accessories and beauty “traded well” during the first half according to the retailer.


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