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Harvey Nicks eyes BRIC spend with luxe classics

Harvey Nichols is introducing classic luxury brands for the first time across all fashion categories in a bid to capture spend from its growing emerging markets customer base.

The department store is looking to add “classic elegance” brands including Chanel, Dior and Hermès at its London Knightsbridge flagship in response to demand from customers from countries including Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC).

Chief executive Joseph Wan said more traditional luxury brands would broaden the retailer’s offer, which has historically been led by a more trend-led buying strategy.

The brand mix to date has included contemporary labels such as Alice + Olivia, young British designers such as Peter Pilotto and Erdem and brands with higher price points including Alaïa.

Wan said: “Harvey Nichols is not a full-range department store and we have always been very fashion-led. We don’t want to dilute this fashion impact, but going forward, with the rising importance of BRIC customers it’s in our interest to bring in these classic elegance brands that are most attractive to them.”

Space will be freed up for the brands at Harvey Nichols’ 220,000 sq ft Knightsbridge store through an overhaul, expected to cost tens of millions of pounds. Wan declined to give any time frame for the project.

The “classic elegance” brands are expected to be rolled out across Harvey Nichols’ seven UK and six overseas stores.

Harrods chief merchant Marigay McKee previously told Drapers its biggest spenders were increasingly customers from China, Russia, India and the Middle East “who are all about power brands like Chanel, Dior and Vuitton”.

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