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Tesco eyes young fashion labels for web

Tesco, the UK’s biggest retailer, has stepped up its assault on the branded young fashion market, putting brands such as Firetrap, Fred Perry, Fullcircle, Ben Sherman, Gio-Goi and Lambretta at the top of its wish list for its new clothing website.

Tesco chief executive for clothing and hardlines Terry Green told Drapers: “We are negotiating with more than a dozen brands. We are not quite sure when the site will launch. It could be late this year or early next year.”

Green confirmed the retailer had held talks with a number of brands, including some of those named above. However, the brands contacted by Drapers remained reluctant to partner with Tesco for fear of what it might do to their existing account base. However, some suggested Tesco would try and get around the distribution issue by working with brands on exclusive diffusion lines. They added that brands may not join up to the site, which will also stock Tesco’s own labels, until autumn 2010.

Green said the new clothing site would either be called clothing@tesco.com or tescoclothing.com.

Tesco’s online offer will sit below Asos and Next’s Branded Directory, but above Asda’s value-driven offer.

Separately, Green said overall clothing sales at Tesco in the first eight weeks of the new financial year had been “strong”.

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