House of Fraser will introduce 11 upmarket brands into three of its key stores for autumn 12 as it looks to cater for a more aspirational female shopper.
The department store chain will introduce MW by Matthew Williamson, Equipment, McQ, Acne, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, Iro, Alice by Temperley, Markus Lupfer, Philosophy, Love Moschino and Twenty8Twelve into three stores – Westfield London, Guildford and Glasgow – to satisfy growing demand for designer brands.
None of the ranges will be exclusive to House of Fraser but will have limited distribution in its stores, according to Claudia Battistel, director of buying for womenswear brands. No brands have been dropped in-store to make way for the new arrivals.
The HoF team has focused on developing a portfolio of British brands including McQ, Anglomania and Alice by Temperley, “all of which offer great British design but sit well alongside our enhanced edit of European labels, including Iro and Equipment from France and Philosophy and Love Moschino from Italy”, Battistel told Drapers.
Battistel explained that each House of Fraser store offers a “tailored brand portfolio” that best suits the local market.
Emma Jones, director of agency Mirabel Edgedale, said introducing “second line” or diffusion brands was a good move. “The HoF customer is much more aspirational these days,” she said.
House of Fraser this week reported a 16% drop in EBITDA to £58.6m for the year to January 28. However, gross profit was up £3.8m to £399.1m.