At least six G-Star franchise stores have closed - most over the past two weeks - with high rents thought to be the primary factor.
Stores at Gateshead MetroCentre, Intu in Derby, St David’s Way in Cardiff, Highcross Lane in Leicester, Carnaby Street in london and Cabot Circus in Bristol have all closed over the last fortnight. The Carnaby Street in London has also closed. All were operated by Denim Retail, owned by Carl Peddie who also owns independent retailer Diffusion.
One source said the Bristol store closed on September 18 as the franchise owner “just couldn’t afford the rent”.
Another source told Drapers: “There just isn’t enough of a margin in a franchise store to keep up with the massive rents they are being charged. They were struggling to make things work. It is difficult for a mono-brand store like G-Star to survive as it is often being heavily discounted in other outlets like Bank, USC and House of Fraser in the same town.”
G-Star UK country manager Nathan Ness confirmed a number of stores had closed, but declined to outline how many have shut and how many are still operating. He also declined to confirm the total number of franchise stores still operating in the UK.
He told Drapers: “Yes we have closed stores. Obviously there are ever-changing dynamics within the UK retail environment. As a business we are focused on operating strong, profitable stores and in the future we continue to assess the right location for the brand.”
Carl Peddie, owner of denim retail and Diffusion said: “We are totally aligned with G Star’s strategy for the UK.”
Diffusion still operates four G-Star franchise stores, in London’s Covent Garden and Oxford Street, Birmingham Bullring and Manchester Arndale Centre. Xile in Edinburgh operates three stores - two in Glasgow and one in the Scottish capital.
Diffusion has five of its own premium stores in Wolverhampton, Merry Hill in Dudley, Telford, Walsall and Derby, plus a Twenty9 store in Merry Hill, which has more of a luxury offer.