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Lipsy stores anger stockists

Plans by mid-market chain Next to carve out shops for its Lipsy brand from some of its larger units have angered independent stockists.

Next plans to open a 1,600sq ft Lipsy store in Manchester Arndale centre in April. The space has been taken from the main Next shop in the centre, but Lipsy will be a separate unit with its own entrance and signage.

A further two Next sites including Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin have been identified for similar openings. Lipsy is also thought to have signed up to three standalone stores to open this year, but the locations are unclear.

Doug White, owner of Pinkstripes in Bath, said: “If Next in Bath started to sell Lipsy then I would look to replace it with another brand. Trade is tough enough as it is.”
Sharon Hull, owner of Floyd Clothing in Cardiff, said: “I’ve stocked Lipsy for years but it’s everywhere now, including Topshop and Envy - it’s flooding the market.
“Next customers may be happy to look like everyone else, but my customers want something different.”

A Next spokesman said shoppers would not be able to tell that the Arndale Lipsy store was related to Next and added that Lipsy was committed to its wholesale business.

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