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Lindex's London debut could spark UK-wide expansion

Scandinavian young fashion retailer Lindex is to take on New Look, H&M and River Island in the UK with its first store here in Westfield Stratford City due to open next year, and more set to follow.

Lindex’s debut store is scheduled to open in the spring on a lease of about 10 years and is thought to be 8,000 sq ft. A source said a second unit in Westfield London was under offer and could open in mid-2015.

The retailer was also negotiating on a unit in the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, but Drapers understands this has fallen through. However, Bluewater remains a key target alongside securing a flagship store in central London, preferably on Oxford Street.

Lindex also plans to open a local distribution centre in the UK to allow quick replenishment of stock, but has disclosed no details about its location.

A retail property source told Drapers that Lindex’s London debut could signal grander plans for UK expansion: “If they make a success of London I think they will go regional. They are huge across Europe and things are going very well for them as a brand.”

Lindex operates around 470 stores in 16 countries throughout northern and eastern Europe and the Middle East.

It is thought the retailer, which launched in 1954 in Alingsås, Sweden, and offers womenswear, menswear, kidswear and lingerie, will compete with retailers such as New Look, H&M and River Island in the UK. Lindex has teamed up with Jean Paul Gaultier for its autumn 14 collection.

Of the Westfield Stratford City announcement, Lindex chief executive Ingvar Larsson said: “This is a great day in our history. We have longed to offer our affordable and inspiring fashion in an exciting city like London, one of the world’s most attractive shopping destinations.”

Since the summer UK customers have been able to shop online via Lindex.com.

“Having a good store location along with an online store allows us to reach a wide range of customers starting from day one,” said Larsson.

CBRE advised Westfield on the first deal with Lindex at the Stratford scheme, but declined to comment on the deal.

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