MANCHESTER-based online retailer, Missguided, is basking in the sweet fruits of success at present.
Will an expanding Missguided inspire a return back to the high-street for other major online-only brands?
Just last year the fast-fashion store recorded sales of £55m for twelve months of trading and this year confirmed profits of £5.5m (up £900,000 in the previous year). The young company is to also set to unveil a 250,000 sq ft headquarters in the city-centre, more than five times the size of its current offices.
For the rapidly-growing Missguided, the next logical step has been to venture into seemingly unknown territory and lay down some bricks and mortar. It recently announced its move into Nordstrom stores in the US, whilst here in Manchester, the root of the Missguided business, a brand new concession at Selfridges in the Trafford Centre.
The new concession sits comfortably between what would be their main high-street rivals, Topshop and Warehouse, with similar trend led clobber. With style inspiration provided by their covergirl (and friend of the Kardashians) Pia Mia, it offers a range of Missguided clothing and select footwear and accessories lines, changing product themes every four weeks to mirror the fast-fashion ethos of the Missguided website (at present think throwback 70s threads: fringing, tassels, flares and a lot of suede). And importantly, the price-points are exactly the same. But this time we cut out the cost of postage and package.
Commenting on the latest move, Nitin Passi, Founder and MD of Missguided said: “We’ve witnessed huge growth over the last six years and successfully expanded the business into new markets which was a key priority. Our focus now is all about experimentation with the brand, trying new and innovative ways to engage a wider market and allowing consumers more diverse ways to shop and interact with Missguided.
Passi adds: “We’re really excited to be offering our first physical in-store collection for UK consumers. Our launch in Nordstrom stores in the US last month has already been extremely popular and we’ve had much demand from customers in the UK to do something similar.”
Vicki Cain, General Manager, Selfridges added: “We’re delighted to be welcoming a fresh, fast fashion brand like Missguided to Selfridges and anticipate that the collection will sell very well in our Manchester stores. Selfridges is the destination for fashion firsts and we are excited to be the first retailer to partner with Missguided to create an in-store destination where customers can see and shop product.”
But what does the move to mean for other online stores? Will the expanding Missguided kickstart a move to the high-street for other major online-only brands?
According to recent figures, while the UK high-street is suffering due to major online custom, low cost fast-fashion retailers such as Primark seem to thrive.
Here in Manchester, Missguided forms part of a trailblazing collective of online retailers including Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, Glamorous UK and Lavish Alice. With worldwide brand awareness already established for these retailers, bricks and mortar business could easily supplement online trade, while a physical presence could overcome the traditional barrier to buying online; the ability to try before you buy.
To shop the summer collection you can visit the Missguided website.
Missguided has no immediate plans to venture into other department stores or standalone stores.