MILAN — Neil Barrett is boosting its distribution with key openings and a new web site.
As a first step of a retail strategy aimed at bringing the brand founded in 1999 by British designer Neil Barrett in the most prestigious streets of the key international cities in the world, the fashion label is gearing up to unveil its first store in London.
Opening its doors just in time for the holiday season, the shop will occupy 2,153 square feet on Conduit Street in the heart of the Mayfair neighborhood and feature a “revisited, cozier version of the store concept by Zaha Hadid Architects, which is already on show in our 30 monobrand stores around the world,” said Neil Barrett chief executive officer Carlo Barone Lumaga, during an interview at the company’s headquarters in Milan.
“This is an important step for the brand and it’s even more relevant because Neil is British and he is very connected with his roots,” said Barone Lumaga, adding that the store will enable the brand to fully showcase its collection in a key market for the company. “We will definitely maintain our tight relationships with the British department stores and in the course of next year we will develop customized, exclusive projects with them.”
The U.K., where the brand is available at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Harrods, accounts for 11 percent of the brand’s business, which is equally distributed across Europe and the Far East, accounting for 43 and 44 percent, respectively.
The Americas still represent an opportunity for the brand, which is already working on the opening of its first U.S. store in a still undisclosed location. In the U.S., the brand is available at the most important department stores and multibrand retailers, including Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Jeffrey and H.Lorenzo, just to cite a few.
According to Barone Lumaga, boosting the U.S. business is one of the main goals of the company’s new web site, developed in collaboration with Farfetch’s Black & White division.
Developed to be mobile-first, the new neilbarrett.com will feature an innovative organization. Instead of having its dedicated product stock, the online store will embrace an omnichannel approach and will rely on the items available not only in the brand’s monobrand stores but also at selected multibrand shops.
“The launching phase will be focused on the e-commerce and will be supported by an aggressive web marketing strategy aimed at reinforcing the brand’s awareness and online searchability,” Barone Lumaga said. “The second phase, which will kick off by the end of the year, will include the development of editorial and shoppable contents in order to further enhance the connections between the brand and its customer base.”
The new online store, as well as the London boutique, will carry the Neil Barrett ready-to-wear and accessories collections for men, women and children, as well as the BlackBarrett ath-leisurewear line.
With a business still very focused on men’s wear, which accounts for 80 percent of the company’s sales, Neil Barrett closed the 2017 fiscal year with a consolidate turnover exceeding 90 million euros. In particular, the wholesale business, which includes 550 accounts, increased 20 percent compared to the previous year. “Our full-price sell-through rate in the department stores is between 70 and 75 percent,” Barone Lumaga added.