Land Securities owned Brand Empire ends deal with Cortefiel
Land Securities, through its subsidiary Brand Empire, has announced that it has ended its agreement with Grupo Cortefiel, one of Spain's largest fashion retailers, and has closed the eight stores currently trading in the UK.
The deal with Grupo Cortefiel was agreed in February 2010 and covered three brands; Cortefiel, Springfield and women’secret. The first stores opened in September 2010 and only eight stores were opened in total, all in Land Securities’ fully owned or joint venture owned shopping centres.
Brand Empire was envisaged to act as an incubator to attract new entrants to the UK market to help evolve the retail offer. It invested in the store set up and employees with Grupo Cortefiel retaining control of the product and brand marketing.
Richard Akers, managing director retail for Land Securities, commented: “Brand Empire was born out of the recognition of the difficulties experienced by some retailers in accessing our market and the relatively moribund leasing market in the UK in late 2009, early 2010. Unfortunately we have been unable to establish the brands in the UK in what has been a challenging environment.”
Juan Carlos Escribano, CEO of Grupo Cortefiel, commented: “This innovative arrangement with Brand Empire was a good opportunity to test the UK market while reducing some of the risks usually encountered when entering a new market. However brands in apparel have their own pace for the different markets and the difficult trading environment in the UK and beyond did not help to sustain the commitment from both sides so we have decided with Land Securities to exit the agreement.”
The Brand Empire stores closing are located at One New Change in London, the White Rose centre in Leeds, The Centre in Livingston and the St David’s centre in Cardiff.
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