Australian accessories retailer Lovisa is to make its UK debut in Leeds this month. We speak to its boss Shane Fallscheer.
Why make a move to the UK market?
We’re looking at opportunities to grow the Lovisa brand. We trade out of nine different countries and we’re near maturity in most of the markets we operate in. Our model suits the UK market. The higher sense of fashionability in the UK market will go in our favour.
How many stores are you planning in the UK?
We plan to open between three and five stores before Easter to understand trading patterns of the UK market. The expectation is to roll out beyond that. We’re focusing on the centres you’d deem as top 50 across the UK.
Claire’s and Accessorize, which we don’t actually regard as competitors, their store numbers are very high. I don’t think we’d get to that level.
How will you stand out against retailers such as Claire’s and Accessorize?
Claire’s is more of a youth offer and Accessorize caters for the wider market. Lovisa is just focused on fashion jewellery. We carry one of the largest ranges on the high street. Our price points are relatively inexpensive, and we have continuous new items. We’re a fast-fashion retailer, our entry price point is £5 and exit is £25.
Who is your core customer?
Our typical customer is a female in her mid-20s. We have two customers; the customer who is shopping for an outfit for an occasion and comes to us to accessorise, and the social shopper.
Will you assemble a UK management team?
The first group of stores will be run via Australia in the first half of 2016. The long-term intention is to build a management team in the UK.
Will you launch a transactional website?
We don’t sell online because of the lower spend per customer. But our intention is to get there over time. We’re only five years old, our first store opened in May 2010 and we’ve opened 250 stores in five years.
Any plans to launch in Europe after the UK?
Not in the short to mid-term. We’re excited to get the first store open here.