House of Fraser will review its entire womenswear offer next year and rethink its concession mix as it looks to boost its premium credentials.
The review will include the department store’s own labels and bought-in brands, but will also focus on the future of some of its concession partners.
Chairman Don McCarthy said the business needed to decide which brands and concessions were appropriate in the future, given the department store’s ambitions to be a one-stop shop for premium international and UK brands.
“In menswear there is own brand and a lot of own-bought product, while in womenswear there are a lot of concessions that have been operating a long time. We need to redefine these brands. Do we need them? Is the brand clear about where it needs to be? Can it be part of House of Fraser going forward?”
House of Fraser is launching Lauren, the premium womenswear range by Ralph Lauren into stores next year, and will also relaunch its young fashion own label Therapy with a new shopfit to further boost its fashion credentials. It is also reviewing the position of its bridge-level own brand Untold, which is expected to shift towards an occasionwear proposition.
Industry observers said the review was likely to threaten brands operating in the classic womenswear sector as these are furthest away from HoF’s new upmarket and more fashionable image.
Meanwhile, Debenhams is also rejigging its concession mix for autumn, which is likely to see some of its partners losing space to make way for the expanded Designers at Debenhams and own-label collections.
The own-label mix at Debenhams will grow to 80% of the total offer from 70%, in the next two years.
Mosaic Fashions, which owns the Principles, Coast and Warehouse chains, Alexon Group, which owns Kaliko and Alex & Co, Jacques Vert, Viyella and Kookaﬠare among the concessionaires within the department store chains.
House of Fraser this week reported a 2.9% rise in sales for the 26 weeks to July 26. The firm said sales at its stores in Belfast and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, which opened during the period, were 15% ahead of target.