Asda to retain George fashion ops, forge brand partnerships
Asda won’t be selling the George brand, despite widespread speculation that the supermarket’s clothing operation would be on the block due to its new owners having no expertise in that area. In fact, the company is to focus extra attention on its fashion operations by partnering with a variety of external brands such as newly-stock-exchange-listed In The Style and perhaps Missguided.
That plan comes as more and more retailers, including Key players like Next and M&S, are using third-party brands as a major part of their fashion growth plans.
Asda CEO Roger Burnley – who will be stepping down from the role next year – said this week that George remains a key part of the business’s strategy and is also important for attracting customers into its stores, both for fashion and for homewares. That's no surprise given that Asda’s fashion label is the second biggest clothing brand in the UK by volume.
So what of those partnerships? The grocer will be trialling a deal with In The Style in April with 25 products due to be available online and a potential 50-product rollout to five flagship stores the following month. If the trial is successful, it also hopes to add the brand into 100 of it shops eventually.
And it will link with Missguided to put the brand in its flagship stores from June. The company also wants to be known as a major denim destination and is in talks with the Lee and Wrangler brands for potential partnerships, Retail Week reported.
All of this comes at the same time as it plans a number of own-brand launches this year in both adults’ and kids’ clothing.
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