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Exclusive: Australian retailer to make its UK debut

Australian retail group Cotton On is to enter the UK market in the spring with the launch of its accessories division Typo.

Cotton On will launch a UK website for Typo in March 2016 and follow it with stores in Greater London, with exact locations to be confirmed. Typo stocks bags, accessories, homewares and gifts. Prices for bags range from £10 for a canvas tote to £35 for a weekend holdall. 

It is thought Cotton On will then look at opportunities to launch its other brands in the UK. It owns a further seven fashion, footwear and accessories retailers: fast fashion chain Cotton On, young fashion businesses Supre and Factorie, Cotton On Kids, Cotton On Body, T-shirt brand T-Bar and footwear firm Rubi.

Cotton On said it is “finalising plans” for a UK office. In the meantime it will support the launch of Typo from its distribution centre in Kent.

Creative manager Luke Slattery said: “As per other international regions we operate in, our product development, trend forecasting, buying and campaigns will be lead from the head office team in Geelong, Australia. As our business continues to rapidly grow we are always on the hunt for talent, and we know the UK retail market is rich with strong buyers and merchandise managers. 

“After thorough research into the local UK retail market, we believe there is a gap in the space we play in. Typo is an on-trend, value retailer offering a broad range of products across accessories, gifts and homeware.

“We already have a significant number of UK customers that shop on our international Typo websites, so we have a good indication of what the market will want.”

Cotton On was founded in 1991 and now has more than 1,300 stores and employs 20,000 staff in Australia and internationally, trading in 17 countries.

Over the next three years the group plans to open 570 stores globally.

Total sales at Cotton On have risen more than 20% a year for five years and are forecast to reach $1.51bn (£730m) in 2015.

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