Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Banana Republic To Open Accessories Concept Store

Women's Wear Daily reported yesterday that Edition by Banana Republic—a new 1,400-square-foot accessories, shoes and handbag retail concept store—will open on May 15, 2009 at the Westfield Mall in San Francisco. The pieces will be made of materials like Italian leather for handbags and semiprecious stones for jewelry. The accessories created for Edition will be part of a limited run and won't be sold online or at any other Banana Republic stores. The store will be merchandised differently than other stores to present a sophisticated, feminine and residential image and feel—the product will mainly be shown on open display tables.

The idea behind the launch—in these spendthrift times, women who may be reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars on fashion will be more inclined to purchase a less expensive necklace or clutch. According to Jack Calhoun, president of Banana Republic, “For our customers today, affordability is paramount and being fashionable is always in style. Edition is the perfect place for women to update their wardrobe with exquisite, limited edition and affordable accessories, especially in today’s economy.”

The location will likely serve to test the new retail concept, potentially making way for more of them in the future though no plans have as yet been made. Banana Republic's previous concept outing featured the limited edition BR Monogram collection and opened as a stand-alone store on Bleecker Street in Manhattan—however no other Monogram locations have opened to date. The recession has had an impact on the retailer, as their North American sales fell by 22 percent in January.

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