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‘We will see a resurgence of the independent’

Ben Sherman’s senior vice-president of brand management, Talbot Logan, told Drapers: “Footfall is down in major urban areas, which makes things tricky, and we will continue to see this. As big department stores continue to face challenges, along with the growth of ecommerce, we will see a resurgence of the independent retailer based around community.”

The brand will also look to move some of its store locations, to focus on areas where they haven’t traditionally had a presence.

“The power of Oxford Street or Madison Avenue is shifting,” explained Logan. “Where we’ve been historically in London, is not necessarily the right space. There are great opportunities to tie into areas where we haven’t been. We will be growing doors, but current locations will shift. We will be able to take advantage of the market.”

Logan said the brand has been looking at ways to increase brand penetration and take the Ben Sherman experience of “community and camaraderie” beyond the typical retail channels. “We are looking at brand real estate and going out to consumers where they live and go out, to truly extend reach into the lives and lifestyles of our consumers.”

This includes ideas for “TikTok inspired” communal living spaces, Ben Sherman pubs and barbers, to offer consumers a different way of experiencing the brand.

Logan said Ben Sherman is targeting UK cities including Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London. It is also earmarking international locations in the US, such as New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Miami, and Berlin, Munich, Cologne and Hamberg in Germany.

“We’ve been driven by our consumers,” said Logan. “We are seeing how the consumer has shifted, lifestyles are changing with more work-from-home opportunities and the way you approach housing and living arrangements. We’d been talking about it before Covid hit, but this has shifted the overall dynamic and some of these opportunities did not exist prior to it. The desire for community is going to become even greater. This is an opportunity to do the unexpected.”

Ben Sherman is also launching into new international markets, having just inked a deal to open retail stores in India in spring 2021. It is also launching retail and wholesale operations in South Korea in autumn 2021.

It will also venture into new categories, with its first fragrance set to launch in June 2021.

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