Mainstream womenswear retailer Kew is to relaunch with a more contemporary feel to lure trend-conscious shoppers from the likes of Whistles, Reiss and Ted Baker.
Spearheaded by creative brand director Sandra Clarke, who until the end of 2009 was creative director at occasionwear chain Coast, the chain will be renamed Kew 159, reflecting the head office address at 159 Mortlake Road in Kew, southwest London.
Des Swan, chief executive of Robinson Webster Holdings, which owns Kew and sister chain Jigsaw, said: “Kew was launched as Jigsaw’s younger sister, but over time they started to come together and we decided we needed to move them in different directions.”
Kew will unveil an updated logo and revised product offer in July, including more luxurious fabrics and detailing. “We have introduced cashmere and angora mixes into some of the products and a more diverse colour range,” said Clarke.
“We have also brought in a range of denim in skinny, straight and bootcuts available in indigo. I think it will be immediately obvious that the product is different.”
Prices on items such as dresses and outerwear will rise by between 10% and 20% to reflect the increased quality. Prices range from £16 for jersey pieces up to £230 for coats.
The first two stores to be refurbished and given new fascias will be James Street and High Street Kensington in London. All of Kew’s 22 stores and 29 concessions will be converted within six months.
According to the latest figures filed at Companies House by Robinson Webster Holdings, Kew’s losses halved to £1.1m in the year to October 2, 2010, compared with £2.4m the previous year.