Brit bag label Radley in deals with QVC, Macy's for US return

Earlier this year handbag brand Radley said it would be making another attempt to crack the US market and was in talks with department stores to that end. Now we know that it has bagged a big fish. The company said it will be available through Macy’s in an exclusive deal that will see it in 100 stores by the all-important Christmas season and another 200 stores over the next year.


Radley


The almost-20-year-old company is also targeting online growth in the US in a deal with home shopping TV network QVC.

Justin Stead, CEO of the private equity-owned label, told The Times that the company’s earlier attempt to build a US business had backfired because it “tried to be all things to all men” and overextended itself. He said the strategy had been poorly thought-out and “the execution was even worse," with the result that the firm lasted only two years in that market.

"This time we're going back with a very well thought-through plan. I think it's going to pay huge dividends,” he said.

The brand is clearly in demand with Stead, who has been in charge for two years, telling the newspaper that all the leading department store chains in the US approached the firm.

So what will we see from the Macy’s concessions? Well, some of them will be big with Herald Square, New York, and State Street, Chicago set for concession flagships and up to 50 more also being seen eventually.

There will be a broader product range too. Radley is currently expanding fast with a move into eyewear, watches, jewellery, fragrances, homewares and more. This should help it as it targets premium/affordable luxury customers in the US.

And American shoppers are certainly interested in the brand with the executive telling The Times that the company sold out of its complete quota of $750,000 worth of product within half an hour when it made its QVC debut last week.

Radley is also targeting the Japanese market where its current turnover is just £5 million, but its biggest single business remains its 32 UK stores and it’s interesting that some production is being moved back from Asia to the UK.

The brand is available online in 50 countries too and turnover should be around £80 million this year with underlying earnings set to soar to as much as £20 million by the end of the decade.

The company is owned by Bregal Freshstream, the private equity firm linked to the owners of C&A, the Dutch Brenninkmeijer family.

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