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Shopwatch - Tiger of Sweden

Tiger of Sweden is hunting for more UK stores and stockists following the opening of its London flagship.

Tiger of Sweden has brought a touch of Scandinavian cool to the UK with the opening of its flagship store in the heart of London’s Piccadilly.

The men’s and women’s wear shop is situated in The Crown Estate’s £500m St James’s Gateway development near Jermyn Street, with neighbours including men’s luxury goods brand Dunhill and Barbour, whose flagship store opens this month.

The 3,200 sq ft store is staffed by a team of eight (five full-time and three part-time employees) and first opened in September. It sells Tiger of Sweden’s full men’s (retailing from £69 to 1,899), women’s (£79 to £1,899) and jeans (£59 to £569) collections across two floors.

The typically Scandinavian interior has a clean, minimal aesthetic. Black, white and grey are used throughout, with textured walls, mirrored glass and glossy surfaces. The custom-made furniture integrates tactile materials such as grey satin maple and brushed aluminium with velvet panels.

The ground floor sells key trend looks for men and women, with 70% of the space given to menswear. Downstairs, customers can find the brand’s more basic items and footwear, with most of the space - around 60% - also taken by men’s.

Tiger of Sweden was established in 1903 by entrepreneur Marcus Schwartzman and his business partner Hjalmar Nordström in Uddevalla, on Sweden’s west coast, before being relaunched in 1993 by then chief executive Roger Tjernberg and designer Leif Menfors. Today, it is one of the country’s largest brands and sales increased 22% to £97m for the financial year ended June 31, 2013.

Chief executive David Thunmaker says: “We are pleased that all of our geographic markets, sales channels and sub-brands showed progress and growth.”

The brand began wholesaling with Selfridges in 2011, a move it credits as a major turning point in the UK, and is now one of the top-selling menswear brands in the department store, according to Thunmaker. The business now sells through 15 accounts and 45 doors in the UK, including Harvey Nichols. However, it is now eyeing further UK expansion via both wholesale and standalone stores.

As part of this strategy the Piccadilly store will be followed by a second at Canary Wharf this month, while womenswear - which Anton Llewelyn, managing director of agent Social Brands, says is “a huge growth area” - will make its UK wholesale debut for spring 14 in Selfridges.

Thunmaker says the UK business is in its “early stages” and accounts for just a “couple of per cent” of turnover.

“The UK is an important strategic market. Last year the brand experienced continued breakthrough.

“We have clear objectives and a clear strategy for the UK market. I believe our footprint and achievements so far show our ambitions.”

In addition to the UK, the brand currently sells across Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway and South Africa. And with further international store openings planned in Toronto in Canada and Cape Town in South Africa, the brand is set to increase that footprint globally.

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