Typo’s global intentions at large with first UK store

typo_london_40Stationery brand, Typo has officially launched its first physical store in the UK, following on from its initial e-commerce earlier this year.

The retail space at Westfield in Stratford represents Typo’s 200th store globally and entry into its 12th  country just a month after opening its biggest store opening in Chadstone, Melbourne in November.

The UK launch is part of an aggressive global growth strategy that includes the opening of five stores in the USA over a five week period (locations include: Valley Fair, Stoneridge and Irvine, all in California, and Memorial City in Texas).

Since launching the UK online site in April, Londoners have responded strongly with over 50,000 notebooks purchased. Typo’s stationery and lighting categories are proving most popular, with the number one selling product since launching online being the mini marquee letter lights – A being the bestselling letter.

With the opening of its first store, Typo has grown its UK-based team from 5 to 50 people, including its retail team and support team working from the distribution centre in Kent.

Looking to Christmas, Typo expects to sell over 300,000 Christmas ornaments this year.  After selling over 500 miles of gift wrap last Christmas, which would stretch from London to Amsterdam and back, Typopredicts 110,000 packs (stretching 620 miles) will be sold this year.

Inside Retail spoke with Bianca Ginns, general manager at Typo, about future plans and expectations for the UK venture.

Inside Retail: Was London a straightforward choice to launch Typo’s first UK store? Why?

Bianca Ginns: Yes. We were lucky to have proven customer appetite around London given the results from typo.com, and given the quality of the centre at Westfield Stratford; we were keen to launch our first store there.

The UK market has seen a significantly higher spend in the stationery category compared with our other regions. After thorough research into the local UK retail market, we believe there is a gap in the space we play in. Londoners represent smart and agile consumers who live in a very fast paced environment which is a good fit for our brand. Typo is an on-trend, value retailer offering a broad range of products across gift, stationery, lighting, tech accessories, art and craft and travel. All products are designed in-house by our talented team of designers who scour the globe for trends and inspiration to deliver for our UK customers when they’re at home, at work and on the move. We have launched the full Typo range in-store and online in the UK. Moving forward we will develop local ranges as five percent of our product range is localised to each market.

typo_london_10IR: Are there similarities between the Aussie and UK demographics? Why does Cotton On Group expect the brand to resonate with Londoners?

BG: Absolutely – there are synergies between the two markets. Our UK customers have been quick to pick up our quirky range and we are happy to see that our Aussie sense of humour resonates well with British shoppers. We are passionate about delivering a Typo twist across product, our distinctive store design and the unique Typo experience in store and we hope that the UK audience will engage with this in the same way that our Australian customer does.

IR: Does the store launch point to success for the online channel (launched earlier this year)?

BG: Yes. The opening of our Westfield Stratford store followed nine months after launching our online site, which has exceeded initial sales expectations. The UK market has already responded well to our quirky range with our stationery category at the top of UK customers wish list with over 50,000 notebooks sold to date. LED alphabet lights and novelty lunch boxes with humorous slogans are also in strong demand.

IR: How is Typo performing generally in 2016, as we lead up to Christmas?

BG: Typo continues to grow and since opening our first store in 2009, we have evolved our offering from stationery and gift to tech, décor, travel, craft and more recently, an in-store personalisation service. The opening of Typo at Westfield Stratford last week represents Typo’s 200th store globally and our 12th country. The Stratford store has opened just in time for Christmas which is our key trading period for the year. In the two weeks leading up to Christmas day, we will process over 500,000 transactions globally. This year, Typo expects to sell over 300,000 Christmas ornaments and half a million homes around the world are likely to receive a Typo Christmas card.

IR: Expectations for Typo and Cotton On’s global growth strategy?

BG: Typo is the fourth largest Cotton On Group brand and we’re extremely proud to be part of Australia’s largest and fastest growing fashion retailer, with 1514 stores across 8 brands in 18 countries.

typo_london_36The UK and USA is a key part of Typo’s global growth strategy as we believe these regions are the gateway to the northern hemisphere where 88 per cent of the world’s population live. We also find the northern hemisphere works for our brand because we don’t have the apparel challenges of other retail brands because our products are trans seasonal.

The northern hemisphere stores have contributed enormously to The Group’s 117 store openings in 120 days leading up to Christmas 2016. Typo has opened 5 stores on the USA west coast over a five-week period and we anticipate opening up to 100 Typo stores in Britain over the next five years before expanding into Europe.

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