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Exclusive: John Lewis takes on Uniqlo and Cos with first lifestyle own label

John Lewis is to launch its first own-label lifestyle range, which it hopes will become a multimillion-pound brand within a year.

Kin will launch on February 1 in all 30 department stores and online at Johnlewis.com. The brand will span menswear, womenswear and kidswear.

The collection, which comprises more than 50 pieces for the first drop, has been designed in-house to compete with the likes of Cos, Uniqlo and Toast. Retail prices range from £8 for a kids’ T-shirt to £99 for a men’s overcoat.

Key items include chinos, shirts, jersey dresses, cotton jackets and T-shirts, most of which will be available in more than one colour.

John Lewis director of buying for fashion Matt McCormack told Drapers the range was aimed at “parts of the market we could not get to before”.

He explained: “Kin is simpler in its design and a bit cleaner than other house brands like JL & Co and Weekend, and should allow us to reach a customer that is after a bit more of a contemporary look.”

John Lewis’s own labels account for roughly 25% of total fashion sales, but the business is hoping to increase this to 30% in the short to medium term, for which Kin is expected to contribute significantly.

“We see this becoming a multimillion-pound brand and anticipate it achieving sales worth several million pounds by the end of 2013,” said McCormack.

“Primarily we hope customers will be attracted by the product and its fashionability but once they see what price the pieces are I think they will be surprised.”

A Kin pop-up shop will open in five of the retailer’s top-performing stores - Oxford Street, Peter Jones, Cribbs Causeway, Bluewater and Edinburgh - for a six-week period.

Otherwise the collection will be sold within the respective womenswear, menswear and kidswear departments.
The Kin branding and logo has been developed by British designer Mark Farrow while the campaign was shot by fashion photographer Boo George.

The store is also launching a major advertising campaign across print, online and outdoor, to support the collection, focused towards the second half of the year.

 

 

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