The retailer thinks to drop 30 womenswear brands, open yoga studios, champagne bars, and refresh its website.The company plans to choose 30-40 fashion brands and instead boost names such as Jigsaw, North Face, Barbour and All Saints as well as house labels Linea, Biba and Label Lab. House of Fraser will also be bringing athleisure into 40 stores and introduce year-round gift departments in 20 stores which will be refreshed around key events, such as Mother’s Day later this month.
Also, a new “test bed” concept will be launched in five stores, a small area where new brands will be on display and will be renewed each season. Labels that do well in the “test bed” could then have the opportunity to be rolled out across other stores. House of Fraser is also readying the relaunch House of Fraser's website and plans to cut back on promotions by reducing stock levels, in the context of a plan to focus on its loyal customer.
“We are entering a transformational period across the industry and as department stores, we’re being assaulted from all sides by disruptors – we need to be a disruptor,” announced Executive Chairman Frank Slevin, as he revealed the chain’s new five-year vision.
Slevin told the retailer had suffered from insufficient investment over the past 20 years, which had left it on “life support.” But he added that he is optimistic for its future thanks to its long heritage, strong product range, and brands, growing e-commerce business, outstanding team and a store estate with “great potential.”
Although he declined to reveal any highlights from the department store’s full-year results, which are set to be announced next month, he did indicate there had been positive progress, prompting a smile from House of Fraser's Chief Financial Officer Colin Elliot.
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20 MARCH 2017, United Kingdom