The relaunched Warehouse collection for autumn 16 is “elevated, contemporary and unique”, chief executive Liz Evans has exclusively told Drapers.
The high street chain has been revamped for next season under the direction of new design director Emma Cook and features strong prints and more premium fabrics, including silk and leather.
“We recognised that the market was highly competitive, and we felt the brand needed stronger design and innovation,” said Evans.
“We wanted to bring something fresh and contemporary to the high street. Warehouse needed to be relevant for right now, and it needed to be something that our customers love and feel inspired by. It had to be affordable and accessible but above all unique,” she added.
Evans said the tough retail market means retailers need to work harder to capture the imagination – and spend – of the consumer.
“The consumer is savvy – she has everything at her fingertips, so you have to create something that feels great and has real value.
She added: “What we have done is an elevation of the brand, the collection feels really premium. We want shoppers to say, ‘Wow! I just want it.’ It’s about creating that point of difference and having a DNA.”
Warehouse, which Evans said will sit alongside Cos and & Other Stories on the high street, has maintained its entry price point of £29 for a top but has stretched its exit price to £250 for a coat, from the previous £195.
“We have been testing behind the scenes and, if she loves the product, she will buy it. At the moment our best performers are our exit price point items. We wanted to stretch that [exit price], as she is willing to pay for the right product,” Evans added.
The high street chain currently has 52 standalone stores, and is looking for new locations in London and other cities across the UK.
“London is a key focus for us. Warehouse was born here but it’s not as well represented as other retailers. There are great parts of London regenerating and, where relevant, we will look for the right locations,” she said.
As reported by Drapers in January Topshop digital director Kate Walmsley will join Warehouse in June as customer director, as part of the relaunch. She joins Cook and Hunter creative director Alasdhair Willis, who both began working with Warehouse on its relaunch in November last year.
Cook previously worked with Ghost, Martine Sitbon and Liberty before launching her eponymous print-focused womenswear label in 2000.