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Gelco opens first UK concession

German classic womenswear brand Gelco has launched its first UK concession.

The brand, distributed by Apt Collections in the UK, opened a 160 sq ft concession in department store Beales in Bournemouth last week. Apt Collections director Nigel Hughes said: “We are looking to open further concessions across the UK – probably six at first.”

The brand has 300 concessions and shop-in-shop partners in Europe, mainly in Germany, but previously only operated via wholesale in the UK. Hughes said: “It was part of a deliberate course for Gelco [to test retail] to understand what retailers wanted from the range.”

The German classic womenswear market has suffered as some brands have failed to address a move by their customers towards more contemporary brands. Last week, luxury womenswear giant Escada filed for insolvency after it was crippled by spiralling debts. In July, Delmod International, parent of brands Delmod and Hirsch, hit the buffers.

Hughes added that Gelco’s spring 10 wholesale sales in the UK were up 9% on spring 09.

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