Footwear and young fashion indie Bullfrogs is to open its sixth store in September and will launch its third own brand for spring 11 in a bid to reduce its dependence on suppliers and give itself extra buying power.
The new own brand, which has yet to be named, will have a higher price point and more design detail than Bullfrogs’ eponymous young fashion brand, which launched 10 years ago, and its slightly older capsule collection, Phi Yen Le, which debuted for spring 10.
Managing director Demian Brewster said he would consider wholesaling the brands if they continued to perform well.
“We’re gradually growing the percentage of own-brand product because it gives much better margin. That’s only going to get more important next year with the VAT rise unless brands start to support stockists better by putting recommended retail prices up, rather than forcing retailers to swallow the rise,” he said.
The sixth store will open on Fulham Road in west London in a two-storey site, comprising 1,015 sq ft of ground floor retail space and a storage basement. The store will stock Bullfrogs’ own-label footwear and clothing and a selection of the brands stocked in its existing stores. Bullfrogs has yet to confirm which ones, but the retailer sells Havaianas and Converse footwear and Ben Sherman and Vero Moda clothing.
The mini-chain comprises two stores in Greenwich, two in Clapham and one in Blackheath. The Fulham Road store will be Bullfrogs’ second largest after its 2,000 sq ft store at The Pavement, Clapham.
Brewster said: “We’ve so far opened stores that run along a line across south London from our base in Greenwich, because logistically it is easier to work along a set route for stock transfers and deliveries. However, I wouldn’t rule out stores in north London in the future.”
He added that Bullfrogs was “trading well”, but expected full-year figures to be slightly down on a strong 2009.