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LONDON — The world’s largest A|X Armani Exchange store has arrived here, and it’s as loud, buzzy and jam-packed as its big, local competitors. The 11,700-square-foot store at 240 Regent Street, on two levels, has women’s wear on the ground floor and men’s wear upstairs.
It is the fifth A|X store in the U.K. but the first here. The store is located on the edges of Oxford Circus — London’s fast-fashion hub — near Topshop, Niketown, Benetton, H&M and French Connection.
“We are very excited about opening in London. It’s a city that is about everything that is new, that’s next, that’s now,” said Tom Jarrold, senior vice president of global marketing and creative. “The A|X Regent Street opening represents Giorgio Armani’s entrance into London’s mass market, fast-fashion arena. A|X Armani Exchange is accessible Armani — inspired by street-chic culture, fashionable dance music and everything that signifies freedom and personal style.”
The London store features the new A|X retail design concept, with a mix of large spaces and private “rooms,” as well as contrasting textures and finishes, including distressed black wood veneer floors, silver gray walls and aluminum shelves. The store also features interactive media, and 10-foot-high video screens beam out images from the seasonal collections.
The store is offering a capsule collection exclusive to the London market, including a silk bubble dress for 98 pounds, or $202, and a leather motorcycle jacket with shoulder detail for 329 pounds, or $678.
Although he declined to give sales projections, Jarrold said the store’s first weekend earlier this month exceeded “very aggressive” opening plans, and that women’s and men’s wear were performing equally well.
The A|X brand, which was launched in 1991, is a venture between the Armani Group and Christina Ong’s Como Holdings Ltd. Armani Exchange has more than 140 freestanding stores in 19 countries, including the U.S., Canada, China, Taiwan, Australia, Venezuela, Argentina and Japan.
This story first appeared in the November 27, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.