Iconic department store Liberty is to treble its exclusive luxury brands as its customers increasingly seek a unique shopping experience in a challenging retail environment.

Chief executive Geoffroy de La Bourdonnaye told Retail Week the changes will take place over the next two to three years, alongside plans to drive sales of its luxury own-label Liberty of London.

He said: “People are looking for the finest and rarest things in the world now more than ever. People travel, whether within London or across the world, to find something that they can’t find anywhere else.”

This month, the retailer launched an exclusive UK range from Spanish bridal gown designer Rosa Clara and exclusive luxury collections from Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Lacroix. Key exclusive brands this season include Jean Paul Gaultier and luxury lingerie brand Kiki de Montparnasse.

Since joining in July, De La Bourdonnaye has restructured Liberty and set about evolving the retailer as a brand synonymous with design, the arts and service alongside its luxury fashion credentials.

He said: “The economy is definitely a challenge. We all feel that, but people who are sensitive to fashion, design and the arts continue to go to these places.”

De La Bourdonnaye has made a number of appointments to help refine the luxury store’s offer. Richard Moore has been promoted to head of visual identity and former Harvey Nichols marketing director Fran Page has been hired for the new role of head of store marketing.

Liberty, which is due to announce its full-year results next month, is in a consultation period with back office and shop floor staff. De La Bourdonnaye has downplayed speculation that there will be redundancies.

It will open its first standalone Liberty of London store this summer on London’s Sloane Street.