Former Aquascutum chief executive Kim Winser launched her upmarket fashion retail business Winser London in January. Retail Week discusses the retailer’s development and future plans.
Retail Week: You launched the new online womenswear retailer Winser London in Janaury, how is the brand developing?
Kim Winser: It is nine weeks old, online is growing very nicely. We now have a pop up in Gerrards Cross [in Buckinghamshire], which has been open for two weeks.
How has the pop-up shop performed since opening?
It’s been unbelievable actually. It’s only a small pop-up but it has had excellent trade since the day we opened. We are very pleased with it. It’s interesting because the strategy behind it was to allow people to feel and touch the material of the clothes. It’s good for people to try the collection on and see what suits their figure. I also get to meet the customers and hear their feedback.
What are your plans for the business?
It is all about the online business and pop-ups are strategically a good addition to the offer. We are opening a pop-up every other month. The next three are in discussion now and we will confirm them soon. They will be in different parts of the country and they will be very interesting.
Why did you decide to develop an online business that is supported by temporary stores?
It is a very good model. In effect, I am using pop-up shops in place of wholesale which you would usually use to get the product and brand in front of the customer.
Pop-ups are very good at building the brand. Gerrards Cross is one of the wealthiest places in the country and so we are engaging a certain clientele.
It is absolutely the right model for us but it depends on the business.
You have previously mentioned you want to launch overseas, what are your plans?
From the reaction on our Facebook page we are under a lot pressure to open in the US sooner rather than later.
I am definitely going global but everything is so new I wanted to make sure it is all right [before I expand] . But I think we will have to open a little earlier than planned. Originally it was meant to be next year but it might now be this year.
Where are you going to open first?
Europe is much easier to extend to, so it is quite an easy step and America, the Far East and the Middle East are likely to be more complicated. We are reviewing everything.