Funky clothing brand Apricot was established just four years ago. Since then, it has flourished, providing its casualwear clothing range in around 330 New Look concession stores nationwide, as well as Debenhams, House of Fraser and Beales department stores.
The company, which boasts unique designs and great fabrics, also has nine stand-alone stores in the south of England. And in the last month Apricot has opened its first European concession in Prague with plans to open a further five in the next month. Philip Chaimo, CEO of Apricot, tells us what makes the brand stand out from the competition.
“We have a very large collection, specialising in prints, funky on-trend clothing that is easy to wear, with an Apricot twist. “The brand started just four years ago when we were selling other people’s labels and designer clothes in our retail shops. We wanted to establish our own brand so we came up with the name and turned one of our shops in Bath into Apricot and started to bring in a small collection of our own.
“Around the same time we also got some concessions secured in Debenhams and some independent shops. We now have around 450 concessions in total and they are the main area of our business. We have developed a very strong handwriting of our own. “We have very good relationships with New Look and Debenhams and feel that the two brands are a really good fit. We have a very good coverage with the brand across the whole of the UK.”
The brand’s stand-alone stores are in the south of England, including Bath, Bluewater, Bristol, Croydon, Derby, London Piccadilly Circus, Milton Keynes, Oxford and the most recent addition in London’s White City, which opened in November. Apricot is also looking at Westfield Stratford City as another possible location.
Chaimo said: “We ideally like to be placed near to major high street brands and the ideal store size is around 2,500sq ft. We look at each location individually. For example, at White City we were offered a store next to All Saints and G-Star but we didn’t feel that the brand sat comfortably among the street and urban retailers so we wanted to go upstairs where we felt it offered a more feminine range of stores.”
Longer term, the brand has its sights on other European markets, including France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux region as markets to expand its concession offer. Although nothing is secured at the moment, Chaimo said the brand is near to securing a couple of new locations. The brand is mainly casualwear, although it does sell formalwear and tailored lines, and will soon be launching the ‘Transformer Jean’ which promises to be flattering for all shapes. Chaimo said: “We are always constantly updating our lines, researching and putting our own stamp on fashion – that’s our number one priority. We have a very good team and we do a lot of testing for the next season’s trends and introduce new styles into our collections every week.”
“People choose to shop with Apricot because they know they are going to get something different and they are intrinsically nice clothes, rather than just on trend. They can be worn out of season and from season-to-season. We offer a range of different prints and different shapes. We would like to think this is what sets us apart.”
For the full article please see the July/August 2011 issue