The Italian womenswear retailer is on the lookout for locations and franchisees as it gets set to crack the UK market
Not too long ago, most people would struggle to name a franchise other than McDonald’s. However, franchising is no longer just about food. In the last decade alone, the care, fitness and baby-swimming sectors have all established highly successful franchising offerings on these shores. And now it seems that the fashion industry is joining the club, with Italian womenswear brand Stefanel becoming the latest international fashion franchise announcing plans to make it in Britain.
Hot on the heels of German womenswear company Oui's announcement that it will begin to franchise in Blighty, Stefanel has unveiled plans to set up 15 franchised stores in the UK and Ireland. The first shops are planned to open within the next 12 months.
And to find the best locations, the company has joined forces with Tienda, the retail property advisors. Potential locations already being considered include Harrogate, Windsor, Edinburgh, York, Dublin, Cheltenham, Oxford, Norwich, Chester and Bath.
Having already launched 400 retail and franchise stores worldwide, it’s safe to say that the Italian womenswear franchise already has a clear understanding of how the model works. But to ensure it makes a show stopping entrance, Stefanel has enlisted help from franchise consultant Peter Danby to find the best franchisees to join the family.
Commenting on the launch, Hugo Deane of Love Brands, Stefanel’s UK distributor, said: “We are interested in talking to experienced retailers or investors who appreciate Stefanel’s mid to premium market positioning and the appeal of a world-renowned quality Italian fashion brand to the discerning shopper. For example, it could be an opportunity for a well located multi-label boutique to leverage the power of a global brand or to tap into the expert property search services on offer.”
With brands like Stefanel setting up shop on these shores, it certainly seems as if franchising’s appeal reaches far beyond the realms of the fast-food industry.