Skinnydip continues with retail roll-out with five stores at intu centres
Skinnydip has rolled out five new standalone stores at intu centres nationwide as part of a series of 12 retail openings for the accessories brand since 2017.
Founded by brothers James and Richard Gold and friend Lewis Blitz, Skinnydip began selling colourful phone cases online and through concessions (in stores such as Topshop, House of Fraser, Fenwick and Selfridges), and has since expanded into beauty, stationery and jewellery with its own-brand clothing range due to launch later this year.
It has recently opened stores at intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside, intu Watford, intu Victoria Centre and intu Chapelfield. It also has stores in other major malls including Bluewater, Lakeside, Brent Cross and Westfield Stratford, as well as in London's Covent Garden and on Carnaby Street.
Richard Gold said standalone retail stores were "a key part" of its expansion strategy: "Our stores help to bring the brand to life, and bridge the gap between what the customers sees online and the overall experience we create in store. Skinnydip is delighted to be a part of intu’s portfolio and it’s been fantastic to bring our brand to their centres.”
The arrival of Skinnydip at the various intu centres follows on from the decision of River Island to choose intu Braeside for its first standalone childrenswear store. Julian Wilkinson, asset management director at intu, said: “Skinnydip is the latest brand to take advantage of all that intu has to offer, from our high footfall to our ability to create more reasons for customers to visit and stay longer.”
Q&A: Richard Gold, co-founder of Skinnydip on its retail strategy.
What’s the appeal of bricks-and-mortar stores as your brand grows?
As Skinnydip continues to rapidly grow, brick and mortar stores are a key part of our strategy. Our stores help to bring the brand to life, and bridge the gap between what the customer sees online and the overall experience we create in store. All of our stores are designed to be “instagrammable”, allowing customers to share their experience via social media. All of our brand ambassadors are extremely passionate to work with Skinnydip and we pride ourselves is always offering an exceptional customer experience.
How do you select each store location?
Part of our process in selecting locations comes from the data we receive online, this allows us to see the most popular locations worldwide. We also have presence in most shopping centres through our retail partners, which gives us key data to make informed decisions of where would be suitable for us to open.
How does your offer in store compare to what customers can expect online or through Skinnydip concessions?
Our stores will carry the majority of the styles that are offered online, whereas our concessions will only hold only bestsellers and a limited amount of product categories.
How do you promote each store opening?
For every new store opening we try and create a huge amount of buzz and excitement. Openings will include live DJs, meet and greets with social influences, experimental food concepts and free giveaways. Every opening is live streamed through social media to build as much awareness about the new openings.
What kind of feedback have you received from customers?
Our customer feedback has been fantastic! We regularly receive feedback from customers letting us know how great their overall experience has been within store. We are also able to track customer engagement via all our social media platforms.