Premium denim indie Donna Ida is poised to enter the menswear market with the launch of its fourth store in Guildford in September.
The 1,000 sq ft store, which will open in mid-September on Market Street, will be set over two levels, with the ground floor dedicated to womenswear and the upstairs hosting menswear. It will stock brands such as James Jeans, J Brand and Genetic Denim.
Johara Chambers, PR and marketing manager at Donna Ida, said the retailer is branching into menswear as a result of consumer demand. “So many customers were coming into the store with their husbands and complaining that there weren’t any clothes for them,” she said.
There are no plans for Donna Ida’s other three stores in London, which are located in Westfield London, Belgravia and Chelsea, to introduce menswear this year but menswear will be available from its website from September.
Chambers said the Guildford store would attract new and existing customers. She said: “Some of our customers in our London stores have second homes in Surrey, so we thought we would come closer to them.”
The store will also be Donna Ida’s first outside of London and is part of a wider strategy to open two stores every year, with possible moves into the Republic of Ireland and Scotland.
Despite the recent closure of a number of indies, including womenswear indie Marmalade in Devon and premium young fashion indie Bagga Menswear in Kent, Chambers said Donna Ida is trading well, with turnover up 20% for the year to the end of January 2010.
Separately, Donna Ida will exclusively sell the Olympia wash of J Brand’s Houlihan jeans in dark blue for a month before it is rolled out to other stockists. The £245 jeans will be sold from August 10.