More internationals heading Down Under

FarfetchThe influx of international retailers coming to Australia looks set to continue, with the arrival of UK high street clothing brand, Reiss, and online retailer, Farfetch.

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Riess will open its first standalone Australian store in mid­ march next year as part of the $200 million St Collins Lane luxury retail development in Melbourne’s CBD. Occupying 122sqm, Reiss will sit alongside tenants Furla, Jag, and Coach.

The high end men’s and women’s clothing label was founded by David Reiss, and has around 65 stores globally, mainly in the UK, but also in Ireland, UAE, China, Malaysia, and Canada.

Leif Olson, CBRE head of retail brokerage leasing Australia, confirmed to Inside Retail Weekly that Reiss was one of the new to market retailers opening at St Collins Lane, alongside French brand, Sandro and Maje.

“We are seeing a lot of brands coming [to Australia] looking to do standalone stores,” Olson said.

“Sandro and Maje have been in David Jones and now they are looking at standalone stores. They’ve tested the market, they understand the customer likes their product because they know what sales are already generating out of their [department store] concessions, so they know that there is a captive audience already.”

Online fashion platform, Farfetch, also announced last week it has signed its first Australian boutique partners – Le Louvre, The New Guard, and Elle, as well as flagship designer stores Alex Perry, Bassike, Dion Lee, Scanlan Theodore, and Ginger & Smart.

“Australia is one of our top five customer markets, so I’m delighted that we can now look to Australian boutiques as suppliers,” José Neves, CEO of Farfetch, said.

“The Australian fashion landscape has so many exciting boutiques and designers that are relevant internationally and at Farfetch we can really help them to reach a global audience.”

Founded in 2008, Farfetch stocks a curated list of product from more than 300 independent boutiques around the world, and ships to more than 180 countries. The Farfetch partner boutiques occupy a total of 1,000,000 square feet of retail space across 30 countries, with retailers including Browns in London, L’Eclaireur in Paris, H. Lorenzo in LA, Fivestory in New York and Smets in Luxembourg.

In March 2015, Farfetch secured a Series E round of investment of US$86 million, led by Digital Sky Technologies, putting the total amount raised by the company at more than US$195 million, with the investment valuing the company at US $1 billion.

It comes just a week after South African discount clothing chain, Mr Price, confirmed plans to enter Australia, opening the first of two stores under its online moniker, MRP, at Melbourne Central shopping centre in October.

MRP is owned by publicly listed Mr Price Group, which has more than 1150 retail stores, mainly in South Africa, across five trading divisions. Mr Price, the group’s apparel chain, which is also known as MRP, makes up around 59 per cent of total group sales, with 438 stores.

Strong online sales from Australia was the catalyst for MRP’s entry to the local bricks and mortar market, with Australia understood to be ranked within the top five global online markets for the brand outside of South Africa.

The Melbourne Central store is around 1000sqm, with the second to also occupy a similar footprint, and also be in Melbourne.

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