The worst kept secret in Australian retailing is out - Topshop is coming to Melbourne and Sydney and then beyond.
Next Athleisure, which trades as Glue, will be the local partner of Topshop and Topshop Man in Australia.
As Inside Retail has previously reported, the first store will open in Melbourne’s Jam Factory complex on Chapel St, in part of the space vacated by Borders.
A second store will open in Sydney, but Next Athleisure has yet to formally announce the chosen site. The company has been in discussions over leasing the former Supre site in the Gowings Building on the corner of George and Market Sts in the CBD but Inside Retail understands this lease has yet to be signed with another rival bidder also interested in the space.
Topshop is a UK brand launched in 1964, with over 750 stores worldwide. Australia will be its 32nd international market.
Next Athleisure, originally a subsidiary of Rebel Sport, operates about 30 apparel stores around Australia trading under the Glue banner.
“We couldn’t be more excited about adding Topshop and Topman to our portfolio,” said Hilton Seskin chairman. “Those in the know have been anxiously waiting for Topshop and Topman to come to Australia on a large scale, and we are thrilled to deliver.”
Topshop is owned by Sir Philip Green and his family through their Arcadia Group, which owns seven other fashion and high street retail brands.
Said Green of the Australian entry: “I am delighted to be launching the Topshop and Topman brands in Australia. This represents another step in our continued international growth, and I am confident that the Australian customers will enjoy the retail experience and fantastic product offer that both our brands will deliver for them.”
The inaugural Melbourne store will comprise 1300sqm, essentially acting as a flagship for the brand in Australia.
Next Athleisure and Green say the store will house “all of the brands’ latest key trends across both womens and menswear, with a host of signature departments showcasing the best the two brands have to offer”.
“I feel confident the Topshop aesthetic will strike a cord with the effortless chic, Australian girls have become synonymous with in recent years. We are very excited to be partnering with Hilton Seskin of Next Athleisure with the joint aim of creating a dynamic retail space to house the best we have to offer, ” said Mary Homer, Topshop MD (UK).
“Based on the confidence and significant growth in online sales in Australia through Topman.com over the last year, we are very excited to now finally secure a permanent Topman store with a franchise partner, we look forward to further expansion over and above the targeted cities of Sydney and Melbourne in due course," said David Shepherd, MD for Topman (UK).
In addition to its retail interests, Next Athleisure is the holding company of Trend Imports, a wholesaler of youth brands Henleys, Le Coq Sportif and Gas.