Reiss to open first concession in South Korea's Shinsegae this week
Expanding British fashion brand Reiss is set to open its first concession in the Shinsegae Department Store this week with a Wednesday debut at the branch in Gangnam.
The concession will be operated by Shinsegae International Co, a merchandising unit of the giant South Korean corporation, and it plans to expand relatively fast with another 11 concessions due for the country by the end of the year.
They’ll open in both Shinsegae Department Store branches and in its rival Lotte Department Store’s locations, according to reports.
Reiss has been expanding fast in recent years and has managed to defy the move towards more casual dressing and athleisure, despite its generally more formal style. It has benefitted from high-profile patronage such as that of the Duchess of Cambridge who has frequently been photographed wearing the brand.
And it has prospered partly by focusing on key markets around the world. Recent expansion has taken in the US, Canada and Australia. That international focus also saw it opening a store at Gatwick Airport last spring.
The focus on growth outside of its domestic market helped it boost sales by 13% in the year to January 2017, it said back in October, even though investment in its expansion strategy meant operating profit fell 14% from £17.3 million to £15.2 million.
The move into Shinsegae could be a good one. South Korea is a major fashion market and also one of the most advanced e-tail markets with the new concessions potentially boosting the brand’s online appeal further. As well as opening new stores abroad, Reiss has invested heavy in ensuring that its omnichannel offer is seamless and it rarely does anything in the physical stores sphere without there also being an e-sales implication.
It’s seen as a contemporary brand in South Korea but with prices at only around 70% of rival labels. Its women’s dresses sell there for around KRW300,000, jackets at KRW400,000 to KRW600,000, and men’s suits at KRW700,000 to KRW800,000.
Shinsegae expects the brand to grow fast in the country as it mixes a style local consumers like with more affordable prices and a reputation for quality.
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