// Flannels to work on its elevation strategy with two new hires
// The luxury retailer plans to launch new UK stores, and branch into new categories, such as kidswear and homeware
// Flannels’ group head of elevation Michael Murray is leading the expansion of the business’s retail network
Frasers Group has reportedly revealed new plans for Flannels which includes launching 165 new womenswear and menswear brands while opening new flagship stores and building on its elevation strategy.
Flannels is expanding its elevation strategy in an effort to bring the luxury retailer into “the next generation of retail”.
Plans also include the launch of new UK stores, and branching into new categories, such as kidswear and homeware, Drapers reported.
Flannels’ group head of elevation Michael Murray is leading the expansion of the business’s retail network.
Three further Flannels flagships will open this year – Sheffield Meadowhall in June or July, Leicester Fosse Park in July or August, and Liverpool in November – and a minimum of 10 regional stores will open every year, with no definitive end date.
This comes alongside a refurbishment program of the existing Flannels 47-strong store portfolio.
Liverpool, the largest of the stores opening this year at 120,000sq ft and will be located on Parker Street in the Owen Owen building.
As part of the elevation plans, Murray introduced two new roles to develop Flannels’ menswear and womenswear business improvement plans.
Ben Hurren was appointed to the new role of head of menswear elevation in February, having held the role of senior commercial manager at the company since November 2020.
He joined Flannels last year from Selfridges, where he held several senior men’s buying roles since 2014.
Meanwhile, Emma Ilori joined the business as head of womenswear elevation in February, having worked as a consultant for the company in the year prior.
Ilori has previously held senior buying roles at Farfetch and The Shop at Bluebird.
The pair will work together across all functions; from buying and retail, to marketing and ecommerce, to drive menswear and womenswear “newness”, deliver new brand opportunities and create “excitement” across the business with a new “vibrant” brand mix.
As head of menswear elevation, Hurren is responsible for leading the menswear buying team to elevate and progress Flannels’ offer.
Ilori is leading the womenswear buying team and creating new divisions within the business; including the launch of a contemporary category.
She is responsible for brokering new relationships with brands alongside building existing relationships with labels to create opportunities for important and engaging partnerships.
Flannels is also exploring new categories, including home accessories and jewellery. The business will be launching Caia candles and Anissa Kermiche vases into its flagship stores and online which could grow into the Style & Collect areas in all stores.
Meanwhile, “Flannels Junior” is another new element for the business, which will launch this summer. Its first dedicated store opens in Glasgow in early June.