With Economy Up, Brands Look to Expand Internationally


The post-recession plans for several major fashion brands include one major step: crossing international borders.

Earlier this week, Intermix announced plans to rapidly expand into Canada’s largest cities, while Reiss, the U.K. retailer who has nine locations in the U.S., is setting its sights on spreading further throughout the country.

Both companies are looking to return to pre-recession plans in their expansion, all to meet one significant goal: brand awareness.

Intermix’s first non-U.S. flagship is set to open in Toronto this fall, with additional Canadian openings to follow, as the brand explodes with renewed confidence.  The rebound started with the hiring of Adrienne Lazarus, a former president of Ann Taylor Stores Corp., in October, who has been described as an “opportunistic merchant.” She spearheaded a big push to understand Intermix’s customer base, spending millions on rebranding.

The online shop for Intermix, featuring the shop’s newly updated logo

“We felt the pain of the economy,” said chief executive officer Khajak Keledjian, who assisted the company in its turn-around, bringing in $100 million dollars in sales last year. Keledjian, who spent the last year and a half rebuilding the shop’s image, is looking even further down the road — to increase the North American presence on a large scale, and thereby ease the store’s entrance into Western Europe.

In contrast to Intermix’s top-down approach, Reiss’ recent expansion was re-ignited by Kate Middleton, the soon-to-be princess who wore a $329 white shift dress by the brand for her engagement photos. With its only American locations in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington D.C., Reiss now hopes to expand upon the shop-in-shop concept they debuted at New York’s 59th Street Bloomingdales last September, making itself more reachable to mainstream consumers through a separate, yet familiar shop.

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