Monsoon to become digital-first brand, with fewer than 10 physical stores
The reborn Monsoon Accessorize may be planning to operate around 100 stores after the much larger chain went into administration and was bought back by founder Peter Simon, but few of them will be Monsoon locations.
In a BBC Radio 4 interview, Peter Simon said that less than 10% of the reopened stores will be branded Monsoon.
Pre-lockdown, the company operated 230 stores under the Monsoon and Accessorize banners. But his plans to shrink the Monsoon chain to 10 stores or fewer underline the challenges facing the womenswear market post-Covid-19. By contrast, he called Accessorize “very versatile and really successful”.
Simon wasn’t specific about the exact number of stores but did say that Monsoon is going to be “mainly an online brand”. He sees Accessorize as a stronger prospect for physical locations due to relatively low levels of competition in its core categories, its low price points and its ability to slot neatly into travel retail location such as airports.
Monsoon’s digital-first refocus is a prospect faced by a number of labels this year with TM Lewin also facing the likelihood of a large number of store closures and digital being a bigger priority, while the purchase of Oasis and Warehouse by Boohoo has seen those brands going fully digital. Hotter Shoes is also planning to close the majority of its stores in favour of a future skewed towards online sales.
Meanwhile Monsoon Accessorize is planning to reopen 12 of its stores this week and and another 20 each week until late July.
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