This year has brought plenty of downbeat retail headlines, so it’s great to be able to highlight some good news – plans to revive the Austin Reed brand.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner Philip Day, who bought Austin Reed out of administration earlier this year, has unveiled plans for a relaunch.
He wants to open 50 branches by early 2018.
Day, who tends to keep an under-the-radar personal profile, has a good track record of breathing new life into retail brands that looked as if they had gone the way of all flesh.
Over the next 18 months he expects to create 2,000 new jobs as his group, including fascias such as Peacocks and Ponden Home, expands.
Day has proved himself adept at restoring the appeal of the high street names he’s snapped up by refocusing on their traditional core customers – often people who are overlooked by retailers that tend to chase the latest trend.
There’s surely a lesson there as some other established names seek to rekindle their relationships with shoppers.
The day brought further upbeat excitement as etailer Missguided unveiled a bricks-and-mortar store in Westfield Stratford City.
Also, the Pensions Regulator said she was hopeful of striking a deal with former BHS owner Sir Philip Green, we had the Autumn Statement from Chancellor Philip Hammond, and agency staff at an Arcadia warehouse threatened to strike on Cyber Monday.
Quote of the day
“Some changes will provide a bit more room to breathe for cash-strapped consumers on low and middle incomes”
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement
Today in numbers
New hourly minimum wage for over-25s from April 2017
Number of UK store openings planned over next year by newly arrived Polish kitchenware retailer Duka
Retail spending trends driven by babies, cats and dogs will be be in the spotlight tomorrow when Mothercare and Pets at Home both update the City.
George MacDonald, Executive Editor