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Cotton On eyes London for UK launch

Australian retailer Cotton On is eyeing stores in London as it looks to make its first move into the UK, Drapers understands.

The business, which operates around 1,300 stores globally in countries including the US, Germany, South Africa, Asia and the Middle East, is thought to have instructed real estate firm CBRE to look at prime locations in the heart of the capital. CBRE handled Cotton On’s launch into Germany in 2011.

It is thought the company has been looking at the UK for some years but has now stepped up its ambitions. Sources indicate the retailer is looking for units of around 10,000 sq ft and is hoping to launch in the next 12 to 18 months.

One source told Drapers that Cotton On would pit itself against the likes of H&M and Uniqlo, as it has done in other territories.

A spokeswoman for Cotton On said: “As one of the largest and fastest growing retailers in the world, the Cotton On group continues to explore markets in which to open stores all over the globe; the UK is no exception.”

CBRE’s senior director for UK retail Kevin Farrow told Drapers: “We have been working alongside Cotton On for a number of years in appraising the European market, however there are no advanced plans to enter the UK at this time.”

Last week, Drapers reported that Cotton On was recruiting for a global general manager for Cotton On Body, its 105-store activewear, swimwear, lingerie and sleepwear chain, and is specifically looking to hire from the UK for the role.

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