Premium women’s footwear brand French Sole is ramping up its international retail presence in the Far East and the US, after drafting in Kim Winser as a consultant.
The brand, which opened a store in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia last month, the first of three planned for the country, is planning to increase its presence in Asia, particularly in China, by opening franchise stores.
Winser, who left her role as chairman of lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur earlier this year, said it was too early to say how many stores the brand was planning to open.
Winser said: “There is also potential to grow in the US, where the brand already has a presence, by opening more company-owned stores and developing a wholesale business.
“We’re in discussions with potential [department store] wholesale partners.”
The brand trades as London Sole in the US, where it has two stores.
Winser admitted that margins were “tight” but she is reluctant to put prices up. “If we buy better and increase our volumes, then we can improve the margins,” she said. Winser has been tasked with tripling French Sole’s turnover in the next five years, but the brand declined to give sales figures.
French Sole has so far added 30 new UK accounts for spring 12 and said like-for-like sales were up “across the board”. It has four stores in the UK, all in London.