House of Fraser will become the latest department store to ramp up its footwear offer with the launch of a new concept called World of Shoes in its flagship Oxford Street store on June 1.
Following in the footsteps of Selfridges and Harrods, the department store chain will dedicate the whole lower ground floor of its Oxford Street store to World of Shoes, growing its women’s footwear space from 8,000 sq ft to 12,500 sq ft. As well as new concessions from Karen Millen and Hobbs, and an offer from footwear brand Ash, it will also house the UK’s first Steve Madden shop-in-shop.
There will be a branded Kurt Geiger store as well as Pied A Terre, Dune, Bertie, Office and LK Bennett boutique sections. Fashion agency 1927, which distributes several premium footwear brands in the UK, will take its first shop-in-shop. It will introduce brands including Sam Edelman, See by Chloé, Jil Sander Navy and Juicy Couture, all of which are new to House of Fraser.
Alex Nichols, House of Fraser accessories concession manager, said the aim was to create a “mid-market footwear destination on Oxford Street, with a broad selection of branded shoes at high street to bridge price points”.
The brand mix would “complement the shopping experience in-store”, he added. “We anticipate overall shoe sales to dramatically increase in line with the new space and product mix. We want the new floor to provide a premium contemporary shoe area which appeals to a wide-ranging customer.”
Although the development is a “key focus” for House of Fraser, there are no plans to roll it out in the short term.
1927 footwear director Matthew Broughton said that if World of Shoes – its first retail venture – was successful, it would look to open further shop-in-shops. “Introducing brands like these into House of Fraser is fairly radical but if it is successful there’s no reason why we wouldn’t open further shop-in-shops or even 1927 standalone stores,” he said.
In October 2010, Selfridges launched its Women’s Shoe Galleries, which quickly beat expectations. Selfridges buying and merchandising director Sebastian Manes told Drapers last year it was selling 10,000 pairs a week.