US fashion brand Hollister has pressed on with aggressive expansion plans across the UK, adding four more stores to its portfolio, and entering talks for another four to five.
The latest deal, for a store in Milton Keynes, was signed last week, and three others around the country have also been sealed too.
The signing in Milton Keynes is for the former Zavvi store in Midsummer Place shopping centre, in a unit of around 8,500 sq ft.
Having exchanged contracts with the landlord Legal & General, Hollister has now submitted a planning application to make alterations to the store’s shopfront, and has set a target of November for its launch. It is the first time Hollister has sought to make alterations to a unit before opening for trade.
Hollister has also exchanged contracts on stores at Victoria Square in Belfast, Grosvenor’s Liverpool One centre and Bristol’s Cabot Circus.
The signings will almost double the retailer’s portfolio in the UK. At present it has four stores – in Westfield London, Brent Cross in north London, WestQuay in Southampton and Bluewater – and is preparing to open another in Meadowhall.
It is understood that the retailer is in talks to take another four to five stores but locations under discussion have not been revealed.
The expansion ties in with Hollister’s initial target of launching 10 stores within its first year of trading in the UK, which it announced in November with the opening of its first store at Brent Cross. The retailer had originally been expected to make its debut in Covent Garden.
Hollister, which is the sister brand of Abercrombie & Fitch, is also expanding its store portfolio across Europe. Stores in France, Germany, Italy and Spain are on its target list, despite the group reporting losses of 6.8m (£16.6m) and a like-for-like sales drop of 30 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
Hollister has appointed property firm NB Real Estate on a solely retained basis. NB Real Estate was unavailable for comment.