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Radley targets US with Macy's deal

British handbag brand Radley is set to target the US market, with a new deal with department store Macy’s.

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07 64157a liverpoolmedziptoptote 1230 retouched

Radley Autumn 17

Some 100 concessions will be opened in Macy’s stores across the US before Christmas, and 300 are planned “in the next year”. The brand is also gearing up its online operations and is working with television retailer QVC, both of which have proved the brand was a hit with US customers, according to chief executive Justin Stead.

Speaking to told Drapers, Stead noted that the brand’s debut show with QVC had sold $750,000 (£580,000) worth of stock in under 30 minutes, and company had also seen online shopper numbers from the US increasing organically. “The Radley customer in the US was going to the UK website, and liking what she saw, and we were shipping her the products from the UK, but in a very inefficient method,” he said. “So we knew we had an audience that was building there. That showed us that the US business was a significant opportunity.” 

Stead credits an “alignment of our core customers,” for the decision to work with the US department store. “It seemed like a natural and well defined partner that we could concentrate business on in a very methodical manner,” he commented.

Macy’s two largest stores – State Street in Chicago and Herald Street in New York – will open extensive Radley concessions, and there are plans for up to 50 large concessions at flagship Macy’s stores over time.

Stead referred to Radley’s previous entry into the US market, which lasted two years, as a “strategically misguided attempt”: ”The focus was too broad, and they tried to be too much to too many people,” Stead told Drapers. ”Without the right necessary focus and experience it was a pretty dismal performance and extremely costly for the company at the time.”

“This time we wanted to be focused, and enter the market in a measured way.”

This will see the brand continue its relationship with QVC, as well as continuing to invest in the logistics of its own ecommerce business and the the launch of its Macy’s concessions. There are currently no plans to open any own brand stores in the US.

Private equity company Bregal Freshstream bought the handbag retailer last year, and Stead predicted that the company would reach a turnover of £80m this year. Stead joined Radley in 2015. He was previously CEO of jewellery group Aurum Holdings.

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