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Knightsbridge flagship will showcase full Karen Millen range

Karen Millen will open a ­flagship store in Knightsbridge as part of a reinvestment in its UK business.

The womenswear chain has taken the three-storey triple-fronted Benetton unit at 23- 27 Brompton Road, between Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

Scheduled to open at Easter, it will be the ­first UK Karen Millen store to carry its full collection. It will also house a Karen Millen made-to-measure atelier, similar to the pop-up versions seen at Selfridges over the past year.

Speaking exclusively to Drapers, Karen Millen chief executive Mike Shearwood said: “There has been a huge investment over many years in growth and international expansion, and really at the expense of the domestic market. We’re [now] focusing our attention on the UK.”

Chief creative officer Gemma Metheringham said the store would aid the womenswear business’s quest to change perceptions in the UK, where it is seen as a go-to for eveningwear and dresses, to push its broader offer that includes knits and leather.

She said: “Our focus has been very much on the global business and what we haven’t done is invested enough in communication and our stores in the UK. We haven’t had a ­flagship in London.”

Karen Millen’s full-year sales were flat at £260m, with EBITDA down to £13.5m from £15m, according to its most recent results to March 2, 2013.

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