George at Asda will drop its Fast Fashion and Must Have sub-brands as part of a major overhaul of its clothing offer.
The supermarket group will also rebrand its more mature Collections range and is reviewing its strategy of using celebrity faces. At present it uses WAG Colleen McLoughlin to front the George brand and its marketing material.
Brand director Fiona Lambert told Drapers that reactive ranges and celebrity influences would continue to be a part of the George brand, but that the offer would be simplified and better targeted to George’s core 30-plus customers. This will be evident in-store from mid-March
“We had a proliferation of sub-brands that were doing the same job and in some stores the offer was so tiny,” said Lambert.
“But maintaining our fashionability is important, so a fast fashion offer will be incorporated into the George mainline and [young fashion brand] G21.”
Lambert declined to comment on George’s future relationship with McLoughlin. George has also consistently issued press releases about how celebrities wearing certain garments have boosted sales of similar lines in its stores. This week it said it had shifted 226,000 men’s cardigans in January because footballer David Beckham and actor Daniel Craig had been seen in a similar style. Sales of George’s flat caps also rocketed when rock band Arctic Monkeys picked up their Brit Awards wearing similar-style caps last week.
Lambert said: “We need to look at our celebrity strategy and there will be some changes.”
She added that the revamped Collections brand, which will launch in store on March 17, would give the supermarket the opportunity to stretch its pricing architecture. “With Collections we’ll be able to offer a higher price point. But George will still be known for offering amazing value for money,” she said.
At present, Collections accounts for just under 10% of the entire George range, but Lambert said there was potential to expand it “significantly”.
Meanwhile, Asda will close its 10 George standalone stores to focus on its out-of-town Living format.