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Reiss appoints its first overseas boss

Premium retailer Reiss has appointed its first dedicated head of international as it accelerates plans to open stores in new territories.

Francesca Chippindale, who has joined the company as head of business development, will be responsible for finding new territories for Reiss and will act as buyer for the new countries. She reports into founder David Reiss.

Chippindale previously held the same role at Dubai-based retail company Landmark Group, which has a regional franchise deal with Reiss. At Landmark she worked with Turkish womenswear and menswear brand Koton and occasionwear and accessories brand Aftershock as well as with Reiss.

Reiss brand director Andy Rogers said: “This is a new role as we needed somebody to make our plans happen. Now we have somebody who can structure the business [overseas] and see how Reiss can work in new territories.”

He added: “Francesca will also say which products will work in each market. There will need to be an understanding of the demands of the markets. For example, finding out which products we need to have in Moscow. A coat in Russia needs to be different to the UK due to the extreme temperatures, such as adding a fur trim and using a warmer lining.”

Reiss has 63 UK stores and 33 overseas, including its Moscow store which opened this week, marking the retailer’s first opening in Russia. It plans to open a further five stores in the country within the next year.

Rogers told Drapers in July that the business planned to ramp up its international presence and move into new markets across Europe such as France, Germany and the Netherlands. He said Reiss planned to increase its 10-store portfolio in the Middle East, with Beirut in Lebanon cited as a potential new location.

Rogers said the stores would open by autumn 2011.

He added that Reiss’s overseas stores, including the US and Dubai were trading well, with occasionwear performing particularly strongly in Dubai.

Reiss won Larger Multiple Retailer of the Year at this year’s Drapers Awards.

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