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Separates join offer as Montique eyes growth

Occasionwear brand Montique is adding separates to its spring 14 collection as it plots further expansion.

The Australian brand (autumn 13, pictured), which has focused on dresses until now, will add blouses, trousers and knitwear to its offer.

Howard Ross, director of Retail Brand Connection, which runs and manages the brand in the UK, said there was a huge opportunity for expansion into separates.

He added: “As a brand you need to have a wide range of product. We are looking at retail opportunities and you can’t stock a department store or a shop with just dresses. Plus it’s a trend our customers are asking for as well.”

Despite diversifying the range, the collection will get smaller as Montique focuses on quality over quantity. The spring 14 range will comprise between 100 and 120 pieces compared with 160 for spring 13.

Retail prices are to drop by at least 10% for the season, with stockists benefitting from price reductions in the factories used by Montique.

“Everyone is watching the pennies. We want to give customers an even better perceived value,” said Ross.

The final wholesale price structure is yet to be decided but for spring 13 prices ranged from £40 to £80.

Montique is also plotting retail expansion and Ross said he was in discussions with several department stores about launching corners

or concessions in their stores, ahead of plans to open standalone stores. Montique’s UK business moved into showrooms on Newman Street in central London last week, “a sign of the brand’s investment in the UK market”, said Ross. “We recognise it is tough, which is why we are putting everything into making sure we’ve got the right product.”

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