The UK retail market is thriving, with London

Liberty, Urban Outfitters and the London Retail Market

The retail market in the United Kingdom is booming, with London as the obvious epicenter. London dominates British shopping, non to advert Europe and the universe. London ‘s retail sector is the largest in Europe and contributes over $ 24 billion to the city’s economic system, approximately 13 % of its Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ) . To acquire a better image of the current market place, every bit good as London’s function in it, it will be helpful to look at the relevant facts and figures sing the city’s retail ingestion, in comparing to the remainder of the UK and the universe. To round out our position, we will analyze the constructs, merchandises, mark clients and market place of two shops that operate in this clime, one a British retail merchant ( Liberty ) and one an abroad trade name ( Urban Outfitters ) .

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London is a premier retail finish, with some of the most celebrated shopping countries in the universe, such as Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street, Portobello Road, Savile Row, Knightsbridge and South Kensington. London provides the visitant ( both domestic and abroad ) with legion well-known and alone shopping experiences, including Charles digby harrods, Hamleys, Liberty’s, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. Of the top 250 retail locations in the United Kingdom, 26 of them are in London, with the West End ranked as the country’s figure one topographic point to store.

Oxford Street is the busiest shopping street in all of Europe, with over 200 million clients a twelvemonth, $ 8 billion in gross revenues and more than 300 shops. Regent Street has over 100 stores and gets 50 million visitants at Christmas. Bond Street caters to the luxury consumer, and is lined with such shops as Armani, Chanel, Donna Karan, Versace, Calvin Klein, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Yves Saint Laurent. Famous specialist countries in London include Carnaby Street and Seven Dials ( for high manner ) , Hatton Garden ( for jewelry ) , Savile Row and Jermyn Street ( for men’s vesture ) and Charing Cross Road ( for books ) . Celebrated street markets abound and thrive, and among them are those in Camden ( for vesture and humanistic disciplines and trades ) , Portobello Road ( for old-timers ) , Borough ( for epicure nutrient ) , Colombia Road ( for flowers ) and New Covent Garden ( for fruit ) .

The undermentioned figures represent London ‘s portion of United Kingdom disbursement:

Books: 15 % Clothing & A ; Footwear: 13 % Furniture: 14 % Food: 13 % Video games and Music: 12 % Sports and playthings: 11 % Air and sea travel: 25 %

These figures are even more impressive when you take into history the population of London ( 7.5 million ) in respects to the remainder of the state ( 52 million ) . And here we’re merely speaking about English consumers. When you factor in abroad tourers, the mentality is even more positive. For illustration, the most recent figures indicate that visitants to London have surpassed the $ 10 billion grade in gross revenues, stand foring about half of UK abroad disbursement.

In add-on, abroad entry into London markets is increasing, and foreign-owned retail merchants now account for at least $ 1 in every $ 8 spent in London shops. Britain has more abroad retail merchants ( 500 ) than anyplace else in Europe ( France has 425, Spain 375 and Germany 360 ) . New entrants into the market are Aldo, the Canadian shoe retail merchant, Sketchers and The Pier from the United States, Roots Canada and Uniqlo from Japan. International retail merchants, including Etam, GAP, H & A ; M, Zara, Polo Ralph Lauren, Benetton and Issey Miyake have been merchandising successfully for old ages.

Let us now examine two shops that work within this clime. The first is Liberty, which is something of a local, national and international establishment in retail circles. Since it opened in 1875, the shop has been highly successful. In fact, the strength of its trade name ( at one point to a great extent tilting towards art nouveau ) was so profound and far-reaching that the corresponding motion in Italy was dubbed “Stile Liberty” after the shop. Not content to simply follow tendencies, Liberty on a regular basis features the work of new interior decorators in the Fieldss of manner, cosmetics, place trappingss and humanistic disciplines and trades. Presently they stock such luxury labels as Alexander McQueen, Preen, Dries Van Noten, Viktor and Rolf, Bijoux Heat, Ross Urwin, Methode Jeanne Piaubert, Aveda, Veronique Branquinho, Carthusia and Aesop. They even carry fabrics in their cutting-edge cloth section. The overall quality and iconic nature of the shop is likely no better represented than on their distinctive, hallmark prints ( known merely as “Liberty Prints” ) , which adorn everything from frocks to placemats and shopping bags.

The shop itself is what truly separates Liberty from its rivals. Located on Regent Street, the timber-framed, Tudor resurgence edifice is genuinely brilliant. The ample building is segmented so it ne’er feels overpowering and, in fact, seems rather intimate. The store’s laminitis, Arthur Liberty, seemingly wanted the client to experience that they were walking about in their ain place, so the edifice is made up of little suites, some of which characteristic hearths and flowery old-timer carpets and comforters. In add-on, the edifice is home to elaborately designed lifts, wooden balconies and glass atriums.

Banking on its repute for gustatory sensation and elegance, Liberty is able to maintain its monetary value points high, although, sing the superb quality of its merchandise, these points are non baseless, and the client seems to hold. Like the shop itself, The Liberty client is stylish and worldly, favoring both modern-day and traditional expressions, and by and large affluent. A recent visit found patronages from all over the universe, many of whom seemed to hold no job with the cost of the ware. On a weekend afternoon the shop was crowded, and these crowds will no uncertainty multiply during the Christmas season. In fact, Liberty has become something of a vacation finish, where the edifice is outfitted with 1000s of bantam visible radiations. But even outside of this period, there is still a gay air. The shop has a unique and particular feel to it, one where the client somehow feels privileged to be at that place, even though, basically, they have to pay for this privilege. Gross saless at the present clip are strong, and while there isn’t truly much growing possible – Liberty is what it is, and isn’t be aftering on altering or spread outing – there are no marks of a slow-down. If anything, the trade name will go on to populate up to its repute and stay a popular finish for shoppers from the United Kingdom and around the Earth.

The other retail merchant in our analysis is Urban Outfitters. The first shop opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1970, and catered to a merriment, fetid client, with a peculiar accent on vintage and Bohemian manners, hip, up-to-date merchandise and a dosage of cantonment. Today, such elements are still in topographic point, although there is more of a focal point on luxury and “affordable elegance.” The monetary value points for most of their ware are somewhat higher than some other shops in the young person market ( believe H & A ; M, Forever 21, Old Navy or GAP ) , but non high plenty to except the mean adolescent or university pupil. The shop aims to be the trade name of pick for educated, fashionable immature grownups, and carries everything from women’s and men’s dress to footwear, accoutrements and place trappingss. Noteworthy trade names include Adidas, Miss Sixty, Converse, Diesel, Levi’s, Puma, Paul Frank, Triple Five Soul, Mavi, Seven For All Mankind, Volcom and True Religion.

The Urban Outfitters shop construct is genuinely alone. Each location is bespoke to make its specific patronage, which, as mentioned, is smart, smart and spoting. The shops are by and large two or three degrees, and are at the same time modern ( tonss of glass and metal, solid-steel staircases, advanced graphics, new and exciting music ) and retro ( kitschy, “found art” installings, authoritative coloring material strategies, antique glass pendants and ornate bannisters, the largesse and feel of an old warehouse ) . What’s besides interesting conceptually about these locations is that the company will sporadically rearrange the “mood” of the shop, and, at least a few times a twelvemonth, change-up the interior coloring material, the ornaments, the furniture, the graphics and the in writing design, non to advert the ware.

Like the merchandise and the consumer, the shops are extremely eclectic, and the London subdivisions are no exclusion. Both locations ( on Oxford Street and Kensington High Street ) are truly exceeding in footings of manner and executing. The feeling upon come ining either one is both welcoming ( I belong here because I am wanted ) and sole ( I belong here because I am worthy ) , with clients to fit. On a recent visit, practically everyone in the shops was immature, fine-looking and well-groomed. Both subdivisions were comparatively crowded on a weekday afternoon, with clients shoping through the racks ( frocks, frock shirts and jackets ) and tabular arraies ( denims, jerseies, assorted gift points and footwear ) . The music was loud, and the vibration was gay. It was about like a party, and the flush, voguish patronage seemed to be basking themselves. They besides were purchasing tonss of merchandise.

While the shops are enduring temporarily in the United States, due to intense competition, some admitted manner “misses” from the company and a level market, the London shops are making good. With programs to open more stores in the UK and in Europe, Urban Outfitters is well-placed to boom in this new market.

On the surface, Urban Outfitters may non hold a batch in common with Liberty. The latter trade name has 100 old ages on its rival, caters to an older, more sophisticated patronage, and operates merely one shop in London ( as opposed to Urban Outfitters’ over 100 worldwide, the huge bulk in the United States ) . However, if we look deeper, there are some valid comparings. Both shops are focused on what is new and exciting. Both shops are extremely eclectic, and carry non merely men’s and women’s vesture, but accoutrements and place trappingss. Both shops care really much about the shopper’s perceptual experiences, including those they get in the existent shop and those they take off from it. Both attempt to convey a life style, and pay peculiar attending to the quality of the inside, the layout of the ware and the overall aesthetic, which is designed to be at the same time grandiose and homey. Finally, both are seeking to supply an “experience” for the client, non merely an mean, ordinary shopping jaunt.

As we have seen, Liberty and Urban Outfitters go about these assorted undertakings in different ways, but both of them are extremely successful in their projects of such. Within the highly advanced and impressive UK retail market at least, the two companies are both success shops.


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