British menswear brand Lyle & Scott is to open six new international franchise stores and a further UK store by the end of this year.
Locations have been secured in Antwerp and Moscow, and a further four are being finalised in France, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal. Lyle & Scott are working with local franchise partners in each market.
The retailer opened four international franchises over the last 18 months, in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Stockholm.
“With the growth that we’ve been achieving in our wholesale channel we’ve realised that as a brand we’ve grown to do more business internationally than we do domestically,” commercial director Tom Duncan told Drapers. ”We are now developing those distribution channels by adding retail into those markets.”
Currently, wholesale sales account for 80% of Lyle & Scott’s business. Total international sales account for more than 50% of the business.
In December, Lyle & Scott relaunched its Edinburgh store. The new “workshop” concept ties the brand’s full-price retail offer to the local community and will influence the design and service of its new global stores.
The re-fitted store includes a cafe and bar in partnership with local coffee roasters Artisan Roasts and local brewery Innis & Gunn, and customers can get a haircut at the in-store barbershop.
It also offers free recycling workshops to repair or repurpose any Lyle & Scott item. If it is non-repairable, the brand will offer a discount and recycle the garment.
“We wanted the look, feel and function of something that can provide something for the local community,” explained Duncan. “A lot of people have a treasured story about a favourite Lyle product, so we formed a workshop and call to action on sustainability, to give a product more lifecycles.”
“It’s taking a view of saying its not about immediate selling but about integration within communities,” he added.
Lyle & Scott currently has five UK stores and four international franchise stores.