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Gelco steps up concession openings

Womenswear brand Gelco is ramping up its concessions across the UK and Ireland in a bid to showcase a wider selection of its product on the high street.

The German brand, which has about 120 UK stockists, is looking to almost double its concessions business over the next three years as well as retaining its strong wholesale operation.

UK agent Nigel Hughes, director of Apt Collections, said the move was in response to retailers’ squeezed budgets, which has resulted in brands receiving less breadth and depth in store.

“With concessions Gelco can position the collection strategically with customers we know and have traded with for years,” he added.”This way the collection can also be shown properly, with the right merchandising options in the correct depth at the right time.”

The brand launched its first concession in Beales in Bournemouth around three-and-a-half years ago and has since gone on to open 35 concessions in retailers including Browns of York and Austins in Newton Abbot, Devon.

“There are another 30 to 35 people we could talk to on the concessions front,” Hughes said. “We are inundated with enquiries.”

Gelco is opening a concession in Atkinsons of Sheffield this week and is targeting retailers within the Associated Independent Stores (AIS) group.

“There are other people that I know who are absolutely right for us. It is a case of slowly approaching them, knocking on doors, and also word of mouth,” said Hughes.

He said some of its stockists should not view the move as a threat. “We are not going to open everywhere,” he said  “It’s not a case of ruling the world by retail but about giving our retail partners more options.”

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