BARCELONA — Harvey Nichols hopes to develop its own private label.

This story first appeared in the May 11, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Joseph Wan, the chief executive officer of the London-based specialty store, said Friday the company was “in the early stages” of developing women’s and men’s apparel, leather goods and shoes under the Harvey Nichols brand, which it would launch “in the near future.”

“These are the four categories we are looking at initially,” Wan said at the World Retail Congress here. “We haven’t decided if we are to launch them simultaneously given the current economic climate…but we are focused on them. This initiative shows how the Harvey Nichols brand can be developed and exploited going forward.”

He gave no further details. WWD first reported in July 2004 that Harvey Nichols was considering the launch of a private label collection. But Wan recently admitted there may still be a long way to go before that happens.

“We have too few Harvey Nichols doors right now to sell the private label goods,” he told WWD. “We have 12 stores right now, but 15 is the magic number that would satisfy our minimum requirements. It’s a strategy we will continue to pursue.”

The store has experimented with a private label collection in the past with ambitious plans to open in-store shops for the line, to have freestanding Harvey Nichols stores worldwide sell it and even to wholesale it. Those plans never came to fruition, however.