Grocery giant Tesco is looking for a standalone store for its clothing brand F&F in central London.
Tesco’s clothing team have been viewing properties in locations including Oxford Street and Kensington High Street and want to secure a store of 6,000 sq ft upwards. The shop will be branded F&F.
Tesco consultant and former clothing boss Terry Green told Retail Week: “We’re looking for a store in the West End as a flagship for F&F. It will be a one-off to showcase the brand and complement our online and supermarket offer.”
Green said several locations were being considered and “it’s just a matter of making the numbers stack up”.
The move will mark the first time Tesco has opened a store in the UK under a different brand. In the Czech Republic, where it is also thought to be planning to open standalone F&F stores, it operates department stores with no Tesco branding.
In the UK, rival Asda has previously trialled standalone clothing shops for its George brand but closed the 11-store chain in 2008 because it could not deliver sufficient returns to cover the high rents required for prime city centre locations.
Verdict Research senior retail analyst Maureen Hinton said: “If Tesco can get the look and feel right, then it could be a good way of building brand awareness. This look and feel would then need to be translated into the supermarkets too, so there is not a discrepancy between the flagship store and the other offers.”
She said the initiative differs from Asda’s George trial as it is just one store and is a branding exercise, rather than trying to make the economics of building a chain work.