Appear Here has recently joined forces with one of the leading voices in the fashion world, Topshop / Topman. Standing tall on Oxford Street, one of the busiest shopping streets in the world, it is a coveted spot for any aspiring fashion retailer. We wanted to gain an insight into what it’s like to have a concession within the store. So, as our new concession spaces in the worlds biggest retail store go live to the public, we chatted to Stephan Banks, Group Head of Retail at Peter Werth, to try to understand why retailers want to appear in 214 Oxford Street and what benefits it offers.
The London born brand, Peter Werth, has helped define the British menswear landscape since 1975 and they recently began a concession in 2012 in one of the most famous shops in the world, Topman. Inspired by the working class man the brand has created an understated, effortless style clothed in both class and authority. From its foundations in knitwear back in the 70’s, the brands wardrobe has expanded to include outerwear, accessories and footwear, making their signature style a timeless addition to fashion for the modern man.
The aim of Peter Werth’s residency was to gain brand visibility on one of the most iconic shopping streets in the world. On average, 4.3 million London residents and tourists alike flock to Oxford Circus each week, with over 400,000 passing through the doors of the six floor flagship store. This residency was also a real opportunity for Peter Werth to reach out to a new generation of shoppers; “The concession gives us brand visibility,” Stephen told us, “whilst introducing Peter Werth to a younger market.”
Creating a buzz around launching in Topman was key to Peter Werth ensuring the public knew they were in residence, so they ran a highly effective and successful marketing campaign. They placed advertisements in Oxford Street tube station, vinyls on phone boxes and conducted an extensive social media outreach. However, it was their in-store efforts which made the real difference; “Personally I think marketing can be difficult to quantify in a venture like this,” Stephen commented, “undoubtedly for me the most effective piece of ‘marketing’ is our shop fit which delivers a clear identity and sets us apart from the rest of the store thus creating a real destination for shoppers.”
Stephen explained that it is important to, “stick to your brand principles and do not try to assimilate to the environment or compete with Topman / Topshop but try to add something incremental to their offer.” What makes Topshop / Topman so successful is that it appeals to such a wide audience offering styles from high end to everyday. This means that its concessions can include everyone from upmarket designers to emerging fashion retailers looking to get noticed. Stephen continues, “by providing the right product supported with excellent customer service, we have encountered very little resistance to price points.”
If you are looking to open a concession in the likes of Topshop or Topman, Stephen suggests that to find success, “good staffing and scheduling is critical.” You aren’t just selling a beautiful product, you’re selling a brand experience as Stephen told us, “a strong team of brand ambassadors in store will really make a difference to your overall visibility.”
But how do you compete with a famous store like Topman and Topshop, with their established success? Stephen advises you to, “stick to your brand principles and do not try to assimilate to the environment or compete with Topman and Topshop but try to add something incremental to their offer.”
Appearing in Topman and Topshop is a huge opportunity for both the established and the new retailer to gain exposure from an unparalleled amount of customers.
You can read the original published article here.