Major retailers boosting their fashion credentials.
Sainsbury’s and John Lewis are boosting their branded fashion offers in their physical stores through greater representation of third-party brands that will make them more of a destination for their target shoppers.
The major supermarket has announced the creation of 50 destination fashion hubs that will include an edit of the 30 brands it offers online alongside its own-brand Tu Clothing. The initiative will help Sainsbury’s fulfil its objective of becoming a leading physical and digital destination for what it calls inclusive family clothing.
The first nine hubs will open this month and house products from between four and seven brand partners selected from the 30 options including Sosander, Finery, Simply Be and Little Mistress.
Christine Kasoulis, clothing director at Sainsbury’s, says: “We’ve been harnessing the strength of our much-loved own brand range, Tu Clothing, to successfully introduce fashion brands online over the last year. Building on the success we’ve seen at Tu.co.uk, we’re delighted to launch our new fashion destination hubs to offer customers a curation of exciting brands when they shop with us in-store.”
The company hopes the move will enable it to provide shoppers with greater choice in-store, which will then drive customer acquisition. To this end it will be working closely with the brands to offer exclusive product ranges and support the expansion of the broader clothing offering. This involves encompassing specialist product areas such as curve, maternity, lingerie and tailoring.
By bringing the various brands into its stores Sainsbury’s will be able to better tap into the contemporary fashion market that has been particularly popular online. Nearly 40% of branded sales on the Tu Clothing website this year have come from the contemporary clothing brand offer.
The first nine fashion hubs are located within high footfall stores including Calcot in Reading, Crayford in Dartford and Sydenham in London. The roll out to at least 50 stores will be conducted over the next five years.
John Lewis has also been building out its fashion offer with the introduction of 20 new designers that it hopes will make it more attractive to younger shoppers, including those in their thirties and forties, and also increase purchase frequency.
For its Autumn/Winter 2023 collections it will bring in names including Olivia Rubin, Sister Jane and Vivere, with the latter available exclusively at John Lewis. The department store retailer will be creating an in-store boutique concept within which it will group some of the new brands in order to create more of a destination within its stores.
Kathleen Mitchell, commercial director at John Lewis, says: “Last year was our biggest year for fashion. Building on this momentum, we look forward to introducing more exciting new brands to our customers this Autumn, cementing us as the style destination for mid-premium fashion on the high street.”