Missguided chief executive Nitin Passi intends to embark on an “aggressive” retail rollout, starting with the opening of its first standalone store at Westfield Stratford City in east London later this year.
Passi told Drapers the fast fashion etailer’s first store, which will span 20,000 sq ft, will be used to test and develop its retail strategy and systems. The long-term plan is to explore opening in “all the top shopping centres and high streets across the UK”.
“One of the things that I think will make [our stores] stand out is the speed of our production and how quickly we can get trends into stores,” said Passi. “We’ll also be focusing on a single view of the customer and stock. We’re exploring the exact details now, but I expect technology will play a big part and it will look fantastic.”
Passi said the Manchester-based firm will take learnings from its retail concessions business, which includes three concessions in branches of Selfridges in the UK.
“We now have three Selfridges concessions with 1,000 sq ft in Trafford Centre; 400 sq ft in Exchange Square [in Manchester] and we’re moving to a bigger one in Birmingham later this year, so it shows the format is performing really well,” he said.
Missguided also launched its first concession at Spanish department store group El Corte Inglés on May 11 and will open another seven before September.
Sales across the business were strong in April and May, Passi said, and the swimwear collaboration with bloggers A Bikini A Day, launched last week, is off to a good start. “We’re trading above budget at the moment and both our traffic and conversion rates are up,” he added.
“Instagram is our most important social media channels and we have more than 1.6 million followers. If we post a product on there we see the sales come through – we get around 50,000 to 60,000 views on a video, so you can see it is working.”
Meanwhile, Missguided has appointed Mark Laxton to the new role of group commercial director with responsibility for merchandising and trading, joining at the end of May.
Laxton is currently director of merchandising at Primark, a role he has held since August last year. He previously spent almost 10 years at Tesco, latterly as commercial director for F&F, and five years as merchandising director for New Look.