With expansion in mind, lifestyle brand Henri-Lloyd is targeting younger consumers with a new streetwear label.
With its softly-spoken approach, Henri-Lloyd is a quiet giant in the landscape of UK lifestyle brands. This is a supplier that sells through 343 doors on its home soil, has 10 standalone stores, 12 shop-in-shops in USC and House of Fraser, and two franchises run by John David Group’s young fashion chain, Scotts.
For further evidence of the brand’s popularity look no further than Italy, a country with some of the most demanding fashion consumers in the world, where Henri-Lloyd has more than 600 accounts. Little wonder then that in 2007 Henri-Lloyd landed not only the men’s UK Fashion Export award, but also the overall Gold award for UK Fashion Exporter of the Year.
With momentum on its side, for autumn 08 the brand is extending its expertise beyond technically astute and nautically inspired clothing for men and women with the launch of HL Jeans Co.
The collection is all about reeling in younger 16- to 25-year-old trend-led consumers. Taking its cues from Italian streetwear, Japanese denim and Ivy League Americana, the co-ordinated range includes T-shirts, shirts, jackets, sweat tops, hoodies and knits, with prices ranging from £10 to £80.
The collection is underpinned by jeans in varying fits from slim to straight, with washes taking in antiqued laundered looks as well as raw.
HL Jeans Co provides Henri-Lloyd not only with an opportunity to communicate with younger shoppers, but also the ability to target a swathe of hitherto elusive young fashion retailers.
“The market today is driven more by denim than it is by lifestyle,” says Henri-Lloyd UK fashion director Gareth Jones. “Brands such as Henri-Lloyd, Lacoste and Paul & Shark have maintained a strong independent business, but there is so much more potential to grow.
“As well as HL Jeans Co, we are busy looking for new retail opportunities,” explains Jones. “We want to take our total number of franchise and standalone stores to 20.”
The HL Jeans Co launch will be backed by a marketing campaign running from September to November in yet-to-be confirmed consumer magazines. It will also be supported by a website launching in August, and is currently selling through the brand’s showroom in Clerkenwell, London.
“The UK market is changing so much,” says Jones. “Think about all the city centre business developments, out-of-town retail developments, online sales, discounters and supermarkets.
“The pot has been mixed up and there are far fewer independents left in the city centres. Indies that once may have been in a hot spot can find this changes overnight with the opening of a new development. Add to that a difficult economic situation and everyone is left finding their feet. Every brand has to spot where they are in a changing market, focus on their brand, and ensure their proposition is bang on.”
Henri-Lloyd 0161 799 1212
150: Employees in Henri-Lloyd’s Manchester head office
2,500sq ft: Typical floor space of new own-brand stores
170: Number of wholesale accounts in the UK