Feb 8, 2017
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Radley plans US return, online expansion and Asia Pacific growth

Feb 8, 2017

UK premium handbag maker Radley is targeting the US and is currently talking to US department stores about a full-scale return to the American market by the summer, as well as working on an online debut there planned for this year.

Radley has ambitious expansion plans globally

Radley’s discussions with US department stores come at a key time for the department stores sector in that country. Key bag brands, including Michale Kors, Coach and Mulberry, have been reining-in distribution through the channel.

That is despite the channel previously being responsible for a large chunk of their turnover. The brands have been put off department stores by the sector’s focus on promotional pricing that they see as undermining their brands’ high-end appeal.

However, Radley’s more premium (rather than luxury) pricing could sit well in department stores.

The company had previously attempted to crack the US market a decade ago with CEO Justin Stead telling the Evening Standard that the previous foray was “a disastrous initiative” and “not well thought through.”

He told the newspaper that he expects strong demand from key fashion markets such as New York and California.

The web focus on the US will be part of an overall strategy that should see the firm doubling its online sales in the next three years.

Owned since last year by Bregal Freshstream, the private equity business backed by the Brenninkmeijer family of C&A fame, Radley has a bold international strategy. In its latest set of accounts, filed this month, it said its global plans include a launch in new Asian markets and in Australia, plus the buyout of its growing Japanese distributor business.

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