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Kate Spade digs in for UK retail assault

US contemporary womenswear brand Kate Spade plans to expand its retail presence across the UK and Europe if its first standalone stores in London prove successful.

It opened a 1,800 sq ft store on Symons Street in Chelsea this week and a second “slightly smaller” store on Langley Court in Covent Garden will follow later this month. Kate Spade trialled a pop-up shop in London’s Covent Garden in October last year.

“We wanted to open both stores simultaneously to establish a presence,” said Leavitt.

It is understood the brand is already eyeing locations in London, Paris and Berlin and will push the button on a roll-out if its debut stores go well.

The stores will stock womenswear, jewellery, footwear and cosmetics.

The label, which has more than 400 stockists worldwide, is also looking to increase its stockist numbers in the UK and Europe. Speaking to Drapers, chief executive Craig Leavitt said the UK and Europe could become one of the brand’s “top three markets”.

Kate Spade is undergoing a period of international growth and is set to open three stores in the autumn, in Dubai, Kuwait City and Abu Dhabi, to add to the 89 it already has in Asia.
It also recently signed a joint partnership to open stores in China. “We see potential for as many as 200 stores in the region,” said Leavitt.

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