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Coast trials new concept in revamped concessions

Occasionwear chain Coast has revamped its concession shopfits as the first stage of a strategy to overhaul its complete store portfolio.

The first redesigned concession opened in House of Fraser’s London Oxford Street store on August 31 and is described as “light, bright, airy and modern”. It will act as a blueprint for the refurbishment of Coast’s 172 concessions and 45 standalone stores and is intended to widen the retailer’s customer base.

Mike Shearwood, chief executive of Coast parent company Aurora Fashions, said: “The new format is being trialled in concessions and we need to think about how this will be reflected in our stores.”

In the past, Coast has attempted to broaden its appeal by expanding into new product categories, including smart daywear, but this time it intends to focus on getting the message across that its occasionwear is suitable for a variety of different events and appeals to a range of age groups.

Coast managing director Margaret McDonald said: “Our collection is quite broad and we service not just different ages but different occasions too and we need to showcase that.”
Coast is seeking a new location for its London Regent Street flagship store, preferably in the West End, that will be at least 2,000 sq ft to 3,000 sq ft.

Shearwood said the new flagship’s design would be based on an art gallery, making the clothes the focal point. “I see it as a ‘galleried’ environment - the sort of place that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.”

Meanwhile, Coast is also opening five concessions in US department store chain Bloomingdale’s.

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