Q&A: Does New Look Franchise in the UK?

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New Look is one of the UK’s most popular fashion brands, particularly among young women. So, how can you, as an investor, get involved? We take a look at the successful business’s history and whether there are any New Look franchise opportunities on the market.

New Look has established a network of almost 800 stores across the UK and a further 100 outlets across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It offers the latest trends to its young target audience at an affordable price, with clothing and accessories for women, men and children.

History of New Look

The very first New Look store opened its doors in Taunton in 1969. Proving successful, the brand was able to add a number of new locations to its network, expanding abroad in 1988. By 1994, there were 200 outlets in the New Look portfolio. Over the years, the fashion business added new departments to its catalogue, from its teenage section, Generation 915 and the Inspire collection for sizes 18 to 26, to its menswear and maternity ranges.

Before long, New Look had grown into an international fashion brand and, in 2007, it was the UK’s most popular footwear retailer by volume. In the same year, newlook.com was launched, allowing customers to browse and buy their favourite pieces online. By 2010, New Look had opened its 1,000th shop. 2011 brought the introduction of the mobile app and 2013 marked a complete rebrand with a fresh logo.

But despite these successes, New Look has experienced difficulties in the past few years, watching other online retailers take a bite out of its market share. Last year, the fashion brand entered into a Creditors Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to try to resolve some of its debts. It has also been strategically closing some of its worst performing stores across the country to turn its finances around.

Does New Look franchise?

New Look is a private limited company, so it’s not currently open to investors through the stock market. In terms of franchising, most of the fashion brand’s stores are company-owned and operated, especially in the UK, its largest market. This means all the profits or losses they generate feed directly back into the company.

As the fashion brand has had a trying few years, it seems unlikely it will be on the search for New Look franchisees any time soon. At the moment, its sole focus is restructuring its UK operations and making sure it resolves its financial issues before growing the network once again.

How to get involved with New Look

There aren’t any New Look franchise opportunities in the UK at the moment, but the retailer has previously welcomed franchisees in a few of its territories. It has used franchise partners to expand across Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and now has around 84 international New Look franchisees who run their own stores.

So, if you hope to open up a New Look franchise unit yourself, why not take a look at the business’s international presence? The company may well be on the lookout for new investors in the future.

The clothing retail market in the UK

New Look appears to have identified common consumer behaviour and catered for it. While women tend to hit the shops more often than men, Brits spend an average of £1,042 per year on updating their wardrobes. And, despite economic uncertainty, retail experts believe the fashion sector is set to grow over the next few years.

Mintel predicts the clothing market will increase in size by 14 percent between 2018 and 2022 to reach a value of £33 billion. This is great news for any business in the fashion sector.

However, the industry is undergoing some huge shifts, as sustainability and online shopping rise up shoppers’ priority lists. Stores offering environmentally friendly fashion ranges and an efficient online segment are putting themselves in the best possible position as the industry evolves.

Similar franchise opportunities

Take a look below at some of the top fashion franchise opportunities.

Noa Noa

Bring the spirit of the Bohemian woman to your local high street with a Noa Noa franchise. This sustainable fashion franchise retails clothes that are made with the intention of representing strong women and allowing customers to feel like their true selves. In a world of fast fashion, Noa Noa prides itself on offering a collection that will stand the test of time. Its clothes feature great attention to detail and striking colour contrasts.

All clothing collections are designed in Denmark and produced across the world, making Noa Noa a brand with the potential to go global. It’s a proud member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative and makes sure it operates ethically. Since it was founded in 1981, Noa Noa has opened more than 90 concept stores and can be found in over 350 multi-brand stores across the globe.

  • Becoming a Noa Noa franchisee: Noa Noa is looking for people with previous experience in the fashion industry to help expand the business. So, whether you’ve run your own company or worked in a managerial role in another store, Noa Noa wants to hear from you.
  • How much you need to invest: You’ll need to be prepared to invest at least £40,000 to get your store up and running.
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees will also be able to access guidance and support whenever they need it. As part of the initial set-up process, store designer Christian Baumann will spend three days at each new location to ensure everything goes to plan. And, to make sure your store is dressed to impress, visual merchandiser Satijana Blazeska will create stunning displays ready for your grand opening. What’s more, you’ll also have support in marketing and staff training.

French Connection

Since 1972, French Connection has been supplying quality fashion and homeware to men, women and children across the world. Through its main distribution channels – retail stores, e-commerce, wholesale and licensing – the brand delivers its products to customers in more than 50 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

This high street shop offers a range of different brands available in-store and online, which include TOAST (beautifully crafted clothing and distinctive homeware), Great Plains (a fashion basics range) and YMC (modern, edgy fashion).

  • Becoming a French Connection franchisee: With around 100 brand-owned stores and 200 franchised and licensed outlets, the company has a strong presence both nationally and internationally. Now, it’s looking for investors to increase its coverage even further. When joining the brand, you will apply to open and run a franchise store in Europe, the Middle East, Asia or Australia.
  • How much you need to invest: French Connection hasn’t revealed how much it could cost to become a franchisee, but you can find out more by contacting the company.
  • What you get for your investment: Again, the fashion franchise doesn’t provide details about the franchise process, but if you’re interested in the opportunity, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the business itself.

Zip Yard

If you love the world of fashion but don’t fancy opening your own retail store, there are other options. You might prefer to help people tailor the clothes they already own for them, remedying pesky tight zips and baggy waistlines. If so, Zip Yard could have the perfect opportunity for you.

Most of us don’t have the embroidery and sewing skills needed to make alterations to our own clothes, so we put up with ill-fitting, uncomfortable and unflattering garments. Clothing alterations franchise Zip Yard offers the solution, as its skilled seamstresses and tailors can alter virtually any item.

  • Becoming a Zip Yard franchisee: From simple jobs like hem adjustments and sleeve alterations to complete revamps, you’ll offer a range of services to your customers. Visit the franchise page on our website to find out more about how you’ll manage the business.
  • How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum investment of £38,500, including £15,000 in franchise fees to set up a Zip Yard unit.
  • What you get for your investment: Zip Yard is one of the fastest growing organisations in its sector and is actively seeking new investors to join its brand. Each new franchisee will receive extensive training on everything from recruitment to software and sales. You’ll also get all the equipment and furniture you’ll need to get your business up and running.

Get started

To find out more about setting up and managing a fashion franchise unit, read our article: Day In The Life: What It Takes To Run Your Own Retail Clothing Franchise.

>> Read more articles on the Fashion sector

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