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Neil Barrett's New Retail Strategy

The brand is planning to open temporary stores in key locations across Europe and the U.S.

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FOCUSING ON RETAIL: Neil Barrett has a new retail strategy which includes the opening of temporary stores in key locations across Europe and the U.S.

As a first step in this new strategy, the fashion house opened its first store on Milan’s Via Santo Spirito, in the city’s Golden Triangle luxury shopping district, in September. The designer, who said he was very satisfied with the performance of the unit, which had a 46 percent sell-through rate, said the success will spawn the opening of other pop-up shops in downtown New York, followed by another in London or Paris. The Milan unit has since been turned into a permanent store.

“I think it’s essential for our business to open stores in Europe and in the States, but at the same we wanted to test the different markets and locations before opening them,” Barrett told WWD. “Milan is the first place and we opted for via Santo Spirito because it well represents that luxury niche market in which we operate.”

In Milan, the gray and white 1,076-square-foot space, which carries both men’s and women’s collections, is designed to resemble the brand’s Parisian showroom, with panels creating 3-D irregular effects on the walls. The clothes are displayed on metallic racks and counters.

The brand, which counts China, Italy, Korea and the U.S. as its main markets, is also enlarging its network of freestanding stores in Asia, opening additional doors in China, in Shanghai and Tianjin. These are modeled after the same concept designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid for the brand’s flagship in Seoul, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo.