French Connection exits London flagship

French Connection says it will close its Regent St London flagship as part of a move to restore profitability to the business.

The UK based brand, previously known as FCUK, has struggled to maintain relevance in the fashion industry in recent years. In the first half of this year it reported a £7.9 million loss, conceding its spring range had failed to inspire customers.

The Regent St store is the brand’s largest, spanning three stories on a corner site.

British based retail news website The Retail Gazette describes the closure as “a blessing in disguise” for the high street chain.

“French Connection has been lacking appeal among its core target audience in the face of occasion and formalwear competition from Zara, Whistles, Ted Baker and Reiss, where pricing is also more reasonable.

“In recent years, retailers have been forced to justify their price points through the shopping experience and quality of goods. This is where French Connection struggled, unable to validate its premium price points across its proposition.”

The website says stores have lacked service and ambience, when compared to the likes of Karen Millen or Reiss where sales assistants are likened to stylists and offer ‘clients’ one-on-one service.

“French Connection stores tend to lack imagination across visual merchandising and in turn, do not warrant flagship stores.”

Another seven unprofitable stores are slated for closure before January 31 – three in the UK and four in the US.

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