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From down under to the East end

Drapers takes a tour of Australian handbag brand Colette by Colette Hayman as it branches into the UK for the first time. 

Australian handbag brand Colette by Colette Hayman made its UK debut at Westfield Stratford City last month, ahead of a wider rollout across the country. The 2,350 sq ft shop is the first of 10 UK stores slated for opening by June 2018 – the second opens on 22 November in the Manchester Arndale shopping centre. Launched in 2010, the brand has 160 stores globally – 146  in Australia and New Zealand – catering for 6.3 million customers annually. Founder Collette Hayman (inset) speaks to Drapers about her ambitions for the brand and the importance of accessibility.

colette headshot

Colette Hayman

Why have you decided to launch in the UK?

We have been established in the Australian market for many years now, so we wanted to expand our horizon and launch into one of the world’s most iconic fashion destinations.

What will make you stand out in the competitive UK market?

We have new jewellery and handbag drops every week, so there’s always something new for customers to see. Retail prices range from £1 for costume jewellery up to £100 for leather bags, so we are very accessibly priced, too.

What kind of locations are you looking at for your further UK stores?

Our stores sit well amongst woman’s fast fashion retailers both on the high street and in high traffic shopping centres. Depending on location availability we are hoping to secure up to 10 stores in the first half of next year. We are not in a mad rush to open, we will make this a considered expansion with longevity in mind.

Are you considering launching UK concessions or wholesale?

We don’t have any plans at this stage to go into the concession business or wholesale our product. We would like to establish the brand through standalone stores before exploring other avenues.

Are there any UK exclusive pieces for the Westfield launch?

As a vertical retailer we are able to adapt our styles and colours to suit seasonality and a large part of our UK range includes specific designs exclusively for the UK market. 



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