United Nude to close London flagship, open new concept store in LA
United Nude is closing its London flagship store in Covent Garden and holding an in-store sale until the beginning of October, offering current and past collections, and limited edition samples from collaborations with Zaha Hadid, Issey Miyake and Iris van Herpen.
The Covent Garden location first opened in summer 2011, and United Nude expanded its footprint in the UK with four pop up stores on Brompton Road, Neal Street, Regent Street and Olympic Park in 2012 and 2013.
United Nude is currently discussing with landlords a new London location. The UK is one of the brand’s top 3 performing geographic regions worldwide. In addition, the brand in the interim will continue to operate an office in the UK that will help manage e-commerce distribution and press for Europe.
“A few telling factors ultimately led to the brands decision to pull away from the Covent Garden space,” said Alex Anton, Head of International Marketing & Communications at United Nude. “Amongst the most significant reasons, United Nude was blindsided by landlords with triple-digit rent increases and constant street-blocking construction that diminished the once flourishing retail shopping experience along Floral Street—heavily restricting customer access and visibility of the flagship store.”
Anton added that conservative consumer spending and the rise of e-tailers and multi-brand boutiques played a role in the brand’s decision to close its London flagship. United Nude is reprioritizing its efforts and attention towards strengthening the brand's digital business and physical stores.
“It became very evident, both financially and strategically, that the brand must restructure its UK operations and refine its focus towards sustaining more profitable retail operations,” added Anton.
Founded by Rem D. Koolhaas and Galahad Clark in 2003, United Nude produces women’s and men’s footwear and accessories that draw inspiration from architecture and explore the possibilities of movement, colors and materials. The brand is available in over 50 countries around the world and operates concept stores in Amsterdam, London, Vienna, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Taipei and Beijing.
United Nude’s latest concept store is slated to open in Los Angeles in October 2017, which will double as the brand’s new global headquarters.
“We are opening a new United Nude concept store in Los Angeles, which will be quite different from our flagship stores around the world in the sense that it is not merely a display of United Nude’s products,” said United Nude Creative Director Rem D. Koolhaas.
“It will be a gallery event space, open on weekends for the public and by appointment for VIPs. We plan to collaborate with local and international artists, musicians and designers.”
As one store closes, another opens, and United Nude has plans to open more locations in Asia, beginning in late 2017, and more concept spaces in 2018.
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