Inditex's Bershka arrives in UK

Inditex-owned Bershka is poised to make its UK debut and will go head-on against teen fashion brands Pilot, New Look and Top Shop.

A 520 sq ft (50 sq m) shop will open in November in Newcastle's MetroCentre.

Located in the new red mall extension, the opening comes ahead of a launch in the Republic of Ireland next year.

A second store is likely to open on London's Oxford Street before Christmas in the former Expensive site next door to fashion store Mango.

Inditex UK managing director Mike Shearwood confirmed the openings, but would not be drawn on the potential for the chain in the UK. There are 275 Bershka shops worldwide, aimed at the 15- to 27-year-old age group.

Verdict chairman Richard Hyman was surprised Inditex was launching a brand in the UK before developing its Zara and Massimo Dutti chains.

'Anything that Inditex does needs to be taken very seriously,' said Hyman, but he added that the Bershka brand would face strong competition on the high street.

Inditex, which announces first-half results on Wednesday, is embarking on an expansion offensive in the UK over the next few months. Seven Zara shops will open by the end of this year, and a further 15 are in the pipeline for next year.

Bershka will start trading from three Irish stores next year.