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St Tropez to target Irish indie franchises

Danish womenswear brand Saint Tropez has set its sights on 15 Republic of Ireland franchise stores in the next five years and is seeking independent retailers to spearhead the roll-out.

The brand, which is targeted at girls and women aged between 18 and 40, already has two franchise stores in Boyle in County Roscommon and the Citywest shopping centre in Dublin.

However, Rosaria Giorgi, the Irish agent for Saint Tropez, said she was in talks with different partners, mostly current stockists of the brand, about further openings and believes the franchise model has mileage in the Irish retail market.

"We noticed a demand for Saint Tropez franchise stores after receiving enquiries about franchises from the brand’s customers," she said. "We need to find the right sites but we're confident about opening 15 franchises in the next five years."

The new 1,600sq ft Citywest Dublin store showcases Saint Tropez's new store concept, which was launched last year in Denmark. It features dark wood flooring, block colour lampshades and spotlights. Walnut and white fixtures display Saint Tropez's clothing and accessories along the wall, with free-standing chrome fixtures in the middle of the shop floor.

Giorgi said the darker colour palette offered a more pleasing contrast against which to display Saint Tropez's bright clothing. "We've had muted colours for a long time so it was time for a change. The darker tone is more stylish too," she said.

She said the Citywest mall is a high-profile location for the brand, and added: "There is a lot of opportunity for our stockists. If the brand works for the independent retailer they can set up their own store."

Saint Tropez's Citywest franchise is run by Anna Mallon, who is new to the fashion retail business. Mallon said she was already looking for her second franchise store site in towns such as Limerick.
Saint Tropez has 35 independent stockists in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and more than 700 worldwide.

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