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Gentlemen’s club is inspiration for HoF’s formalwear revamp

House of Fraser has invested £1m in a revamp of its men’s formalwear department in its London Oxford Street store to create a destination for shoppers with new brands, a bar and its first-ever bespoke suiting service.

Some areas have already reopened, but the 6,500 sq ft refurbished department will be fully unveiled next month. The new look will include a bar area where customers can enjoy a drink while reading a book or watching a film.

The retailer has added a ‘tailor’s table’ for bespoke suiting and a personal shopping suite. The refit was inspired by a traditional gentlemen’s club with leather sofas and armchairs.

Director of buying for menswear Jackie Hay said the formalwear section of the store required a slower pace with the customer treated like a gentleman. House of Fraser has tripled the number of staff in the department to 30 and has provided them with training from Savile Row tailors and suiting experts.

Senior menswear buyer Selina Jones added that, due to the economic uncertainty, suiting sales had dipped so it was vital to put a renewed emphasis on the area.

For autumn 11, new brands are being introduced to the department including Chester Barrie Savile Row and Duchamp. Ted Baker will launch an exclusive spring 12 range for House of Fraser called Ted Baker Riviera, featuring suits and separates.

The new section has a central space dubbed ‘Editor’s choice’ in which the retailer can place pop-up shops, highlight brands or host industry experts.

Jones added that it was possible the new look would be rolled out to other locations depending on feedback from the Oxford Street branch.

 

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