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Drapers Fashion Summit: Hugo Boss to extend in HoF and John Lewis

Hugo Boss is to extend its presence in House of Fraser and John Lewis as it seeks to improve profitability in a saturated UK market.

The brand, which currently operates its menswear and womenswear lines in 22 House of Fraser and five John Lewis stores, is planning to expand within the department stores in order to increase spending within the UK.

Fahim Rahman, commercial strategy manager for business development at Hugo Boss, told delegates at today’s Fashion Summit that the company was seeking “large scale” distribution through the high street chains as they have a larger retail portfolio in the UK compared to premium stores such as Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Harrods.

He said: “We started our distribution in the UK through Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Harrods as we wanted to make sure our branding was correct. However when we look at the UK and profitability in order to meet the targets set by our owners, we have to look at stores with a larger scale.”

Rahman continued: “House of Fraser has 61 doors and John Lewis has over 40. We believe that if we choose selective doors we can highlight our brand in a similar way to how we do it in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.”

Although Rahman declined to comment on how many stores Hugo Boss plans to extend into, he said they would edit the product offering in order to appeal to the target consumer and overall price points in store.

The brand, which also distributes bodywear in 20 John Lewis stores, will continue to work with its wholesale accounts provided they “match criteria” set out for them  in terms of brand presentation, minimum orders and timely payment.

Rahman said: “We are not at all biased in our wholesale approach to the large players - we want to work with all partners that help protect the image of our brand.

“But as we do have strict financial targets set out by our shareholders - we must seek a diversified distribution strategy which will be both effective and efficient in terms of growing our scale within a particular country.”

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