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House of Fraser plots Biba standalones

Department store House of Fraser is considering opening standalone stores for British brand Biba, after it introduced the label into its stores and online last month.

Biba, which was founded by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964, topped over £1m in sales in House of Fraser last week. The department store bought the brand in November last year.

John King, House of Fraser chief executive told the Observer: “We’re exploring the idea of Biba standalone stores but won’t do them until we have launched the whole collection in House of Fraser.”

He said that the department store had been approached by a US store interested in selling the womenswear range but had not decided whether to go down the wholesale route.

“We will decide on the 10-year strategy for the brand next year, but we know it’s got legs,” he said.

Hulanicki issued a two-fingered salute to House of Fraser last week and joined forces with George at Asda to produce a low-priced fast-fashion collection.

In an interview with Drapers, Hulanicki made a stinging attack on House of Fraser’s interpretation of the Biba label – saying it did not reflect the original Biba style and that it was “too expensive”. Her collection for Asda will launch in November and will include around 12 designs. A further three or four collections will follow.

House of Fraser hit back saying that the range was never meant to recreate the Biba of the 60s and 70s but be relevant to the department store customers today.

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