Forever New ramping up presence in North America

Australian retailer Forever New is ramping up its presence in North America, with plans to launch a standalone website in the US, sell through major department stores, including Bloomingdales and Nieman Marcus, and open two new stores in Canada.

The news, announced on Monday, is the latest sign of Forever New’s global aspirations. The brand has formed a string of partnerships with retailers around the world, including Asos and Next in the UK, Zalora in Singapore and Zalando in Europe, and last year, it revamped its website to better serve international customers.

“Forever New has a unique product offering and our handwriting is not only relevant to the markets in the Southern Hemisphere but also in the Northern Hemisphere. We offer a real point of difference,” Carolyn Mackenzie, managing director of Forever New, told Inside Retail.

Focus on third-party expansion

According to Mackenzie, the retailer’s presence in the Canadian market over the last few years has sparked interest from American retailers.

Forever New, which trades as Ever New in North America, appears to have four bricks-and-mortar stores in Canada – three in the Vancouver area, and one in Toronto. The retailer plans to open a second store in Toronto a new location in Calgary this year.

The retailer started selling in the US market via Nordstrom.com in 2018, and on Monday, it announced it will launch a standalone website in the coming months. It will also launch offline in Bloomingdales and Nieman Marcus department stores, and expand its online presence via Nordstrom, Lulus, South Moon Under and Amazon.

Mackenzie said the privately-held business is currently focusing its efforts on third-party and digital expansion, but that it may open standalone stores in the US in future.

“[B]eing an agile and fast-moving business means there is always the possibility…” she said.

Broader transformation underway

The ramp-up overseas is just part of the multi-faceted transformation currently underway at Forever New.

In late 2018, it overhauled its global e-commerce platform to make the online shopping experience more seamless, and in 2019, it unveiled two first-to-market digital initiatives: a reserve-in-store option and visually-similar product recommendation tool.

It has also launched a new high-end store concept designed by Hecker Guthrie, featuring terrazzo tiled floors, brushed brass detailing and fluted glass panels.

“[T]he new store concept embodies the feminine signature of the brand,” Mackenzie said, calling it “the perfect backdrop to the brand’s distinctive designs and prints”.

Next up for Forever New? More inclusive sizes.

“Following on from the success of Forever New Petite and to ensure the accessibility of Forever New for all, we’re planning on expanding our category offering with ‘Forever New Curve’,” Mackenzie said.

“Stay tuned for more details on these exciting initiatives.”

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