When Tory Burch began designing her eponymous collection in 2004, she saw a void in the market for classic styles that weren’t afraid to assert themselves with bold graphics in eye-catching colors. The demand for Burch’s brand of country club-with-Bohemian chic hasn’t abated. “I feel [the business] can grow very substantially,” said Burch, who plans to open half a dozen stores over the next six to eight months. “I see more than 100 stores.”
A 528-square-foot unit at 47 Newtown Lane in East Hampton, N.Y., opening in May will have a resort theme with interiors decorated in a palette of turquoise, green and white, and will carry swimsuits, caftans, tunic minidresses and flip-flops made exclusively for the store. “The store is smaller than we would have liked, but next year we’ll expand into a larger space next door,” Burch said.
It will also be the model for other resort units. “We’re looking in Malibu” for a resort store location, Burch said.
Also in May, the designer will unveil a 1,350-square-foot unit at the Houston Galleria. The following month, a 1,800-square-foot store will bow at the Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour, Fla. Burch said the company had lined up a second Florida location, but declined to divulge it.
A 2,000-square-foot outlet store, the company’s first, will open at Woodbury Commons in Harriman, N.Y., in July. Burch said the company might produce items specifically for the outlet store. “There’s an outlet shopper who’s not our shopper and we want to reach her,” she said.
Burch will break into the Las Vegas market with a 1,400-square-foot boutique at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in December, and a 1,500-square-foot store at the Palazzo at the Venetian, slated to open in 2008. “We are focussing more on accessories, handbags and shoes, which will do really well there,” Burch said. “Going forward, we’ll be making more space for footwear and handbags in our stores.”
Bridgitte Klein, president of Tory Burch, said the company accelerated its expansion plan. “Our initial strategy was to open three stores a year for the next five years,” she said. “Given the initial success, we’ve been more aggressive with our expansion.”
This story first appeared in the April 13, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company is laying the groundwork for an international retail business. “We’ve launched wholesale overseas to test the waters and it’s been successful,” said Klein. “At some point, we want to test freestanding stores. We sell to Harvey Nichols and we’re in conversations with Selfridges. Tory Burch is sold at some of the best retailers in Germany and we’re launching shoes at Printemps in Paris and La Rinascente in Milan. We’re launching shoes and ready-to-wear at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong for fall.”