BRAND COLLECTION | Fashion Updates | Retail

French Connection Returns to Manchester, Expanding Presence in 2024

Published: December 28, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

French Connection makes a notable return to Manchester, setting the stage for the premium fashion and home retailer’s expansion strategy in 2024. The new 2,189 sq ft store in Manchester Arndale center is positioned to showcase an extensive collection for both men and women, featuring clothing, accessories, footwear, and a curated selection of homeware.

This strategic move is part of French Connection’s broader store expansion strategy, aiming to increase its current count of 30 UK physical stores to a range between 40 and 50 in the coming years. The envisioned expansion includes both outlet and full-price stores strategically located on high streets and in shopping centers. Simon Donoghue, Managing Director of Direct to Consumer at French Connection, emphasizes the brand’s commitment to growth and diversification.

French Connection had previously signaled its return to store openings during the summer with its debut at Icon Outlet at The O2 in southeast London, marking the brand’s first outlet store in six years.

As part of potential full-price store locations, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, and smaller towns like Guildford, Windsor, and Solihull are on the list, along with university hubs Oxford and Cambridge.

The Manchester Arndale store joins a recent influx of fashion brands securing long-term leases, including Dune, The North Face, Oseyo, Nike, Moss, and Sunglasses Hut. Notably, River Island has upsized its presence, reinforcing the center’s appeal to top-tier operators, according to Steve Gray, Head of European Retail Asset Management at operator Global Mutual. With the center now over 95% let, there is confidence in consistently delivering a premier retail experience. Manchester Arndale maintains its status as the North West’s premier retail destination, and with ongoing commitments from brands, the anticipation is high for more exciting additions in the coming months as the center continues to evolve.

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