Second ever Footasylum Womens store will be in Manchester
With its successful IPO still fresh in the mind, UK athletic shoe/apparel and fashion chain Footasylum will open its second ever Footasylum Womens concept store in Manchester’s Arndale centre, the mall’s owners said last last week.
The store will open in the New Year in a 7,200 sq ft space that was recently confirmed with landlords Intu and M&G Real estate. It follows the opening of a Christmas season pop-up and will feature the women’s offer from major brands including Illustrated People, Glamorous, Daisy Street, Nike and Puma.
Colin Flinn, Intu’s regional managing director, said: “It’s fantastic news that Footasylum Womens has decided to open its second ever store at Manchester Arndale, boosting our range of modern fashion stores currently on offer. The brand is a great example of retailers looking to evolve and innovate and we are seeing more and more names like Footasylum offering new concepts.”
The concept reflects the increasing importance of women to sports retailers. What was once a mainly-male category has seen fast growth on the back of the athleisure trend as women have incorporated sports styling into their everyday wardrobes, helped by more casual dress codes in offices.
But the trend has also been boosted by the larger number of women taking part in team and individual fitness activities. Overall, 16% of Britons take part in regular fitness activities, up from 13% in 2006 and partially driven by increased female participation.
This offers a huge opportunity for retailers looking to launch specialist chains targeting women.
And despite the decline in many UK retail locations, the biggest and best known malls, like Arndale, are where business are most likely open flagships and new concepts. The mall has seen a number of big name brands opening there lately with the most recent arrivals being Victoria’s Secret and the brand’s Pink label, as well as Paul Smith opening in Manchester Arndale’s boutique destination New Cathedral Street.
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