The quintessentially British retailer, famous for the creation of the waterproof trench coat, is seeking a location in London’s Bond Street for a standalone fashion format.
Chief executive Kim Winser, who was drafted in by Japanese owner Renown in 2006 to stem losses, said it will have opened four fashion stores, in London, Milan, New York and Paris, by the end of next year. Partners in Japan, Hong Kong and India will then replicate those stores.
Winser said the initiative follows the response to the retailer’s first collection with a modernised product offer for autumn/winter 2007. It has signed distribution deals with Mercury in Russia, Villa Moda in the Middle East and the US’s Bergdorf Goodman.
She said: “Having that fashion statement worldwide is going to add to the business substantially.”
Aquascutum will also introduce accessories this autumn, with the potential launch of an accessories-only format. Winser wants 35 per cent of total sales to come from accessories within four years, by which time she expects the turnaround to be complete.
Winser told Retail Week the retailer had recorded a credit-crunch defying 26 per cent increase in UK sales last month.
This autumn, the retailer – which has 180 stores and concessions in Japan, 110 in Hong Kong and China, and 30 in the UK – will open 10 more shops in the US, three in Russia, three in India and four or five in the Middle East.
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