Tiger founder to open ÏD Kids in UK
French children’s clothing and toys company ÏD Kids is about to enter the UK with a London opening next month under the control of the founder of the Tiger brand.
Danish entrepreneur Philip Bier has the UK franchise for the chain having sold his interest in Tiger. He had launched the Tiger chain in the UK in 2005 and sold his stake for unspecified multi-millions last year. For his new venture, Bier Brothers, he has teamed up with his brother Jacob, who is a leading mergers and acquisitions lawyer, to launch new retail ventures for the UK high street.
The French company is a solid first step as it already has a global profile. ÏD Kids owns eight brands in total and has 1,200 stores around the world with turnover of €860 million in its latest year.
“We want to be the preferred partner for foreign retailers who want to enter the UK,” Philip Bier said in an interview with The Guardian. “The ambition is to have six brands in five years’ time.”
His ambitious plans come at a tough time for the UK retail sector, especially in the fashion area. But Bier said those retail businesses that have struggled the most are, like Toys R Us, businesses “that stood still and relied on doing the same thing for 25 years with no material change in their model.” He said “they just expected customers to turn up with a basket and fill it. That doesn’t happen anymore.”
The first ÏD Kids store will open in prosperous Southwest London suburb Wandsworth, which makes sense given that the brand’s Okaïdi kids’ clothing sits at a price level targeted to appeal to the local clientele - cheaper than designer level but costing more than a mass-market chain such as Zara.
“The demographic is right in Wandsworth and there is an incredible concentration of buggies,” Bier told The Guardian. “The French children’s apparel market is incredibly competitive because they don’t wear a school uniform. The intention is to make it a national chain of probably 50 shops.”
He believes he has a good chance of success as the brand sells mainly own-label products, making it a destination for shoppers. “If you want an ÏD product you have to go to ÏD. That’s one of the reasons Tiger worked so well. If you want Tiger products you have to go to Tiger,” he said.
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