Retail Recap: The important openings and partnerships of August 2023

As August comes to a close, the retail sector reflects on an overall positive month. Inflation slowed as retailers headed back to the high street. August saw a continuing trend of retailers increasing their brick-and-mortar presence as in-person retail flourishes and customer demand grows for experiential in-store experiences.

Throughout the month, there has been a mixed bag of trading updates. Companies such as Marks & Spencer and TK Maxx raised their fiscal expectations. However, companies such as Sweaty Betty lowered their outlooks as revenues flatlined. has curated a list of the retail stores that have opened this month, as well as a number of partnerships from businesses including New Look, Sandro and LoveShackFancy.

Purpose-led fashion brand Scamp & Dude expanded into London and Edinburgh

Just one year after establishing its flagship store, independent fashion brand Scamp & Dude rapidly expanded its brick-and-mortar presence, this time with two new stores in London and Edinburgh.

Phase Eight and Hobbs joined forces in an upsized store at Merry Hill

Sovereign Centros has announced that sister brands, Phase Eight and Hobbs, are relocating and upsizing their existing Merry Hill stores. The premium womenswear brands will be situated together in a new 6,000 sq ft retail unit.

Mango centre:mk

Mango opened a new flagship at centre:mk

Mango opened the doors of a new flagship store at a top 10 UK retail destination centre:mk. Set over 4,693 sq ft, the store stocks the fast-growing Spanish retail giant’s womenswear collection and features its new Mediterranean-inspired concept known as New Med.

Primark revealed two new UK store locations as retail expansion continues

Primark is to open two new UK stores, one in Glasgow and one in Salisbury, as the value fashion giant continues its retail expansion.

The new Glasgow Fort store will be Primark’s fourth in the Scottish city, and its 21st in Scotland, and is slated to open in early 2025. Meanwhile, in the coming weeks, Primark will open a new store in the cathedral city of Salisbury in Wiltshire.

Lids doubled store size at The O2’s Icon Outlet and Calvin Klein to upsize for autumn

US sports retailer Lids doubled its retail footprint to 1,471 sq ft at Icon Outlet at The O2, and Calvin Klein is upsizing by over 3,000 sq ft to create a 6,576 sq ft store at the destination, due to open this autumn.


Swarovski made a sparkling return to Liverpool with new concept store

Grosvenor announced that the luxury crystal jewellery brand, Swarovski, opened the doors to a new concept store at Liverpool ONE. The 2,000 sq ft retail unit on Peter’s Lane follows the globally renowned brand’s new ‘WonderLUX’ store concept – an immersive luxury retail experience.

Lone Design Club opened a pop-up store in London’s Carnaby showcasing sustainable brands

Lone Design Club (LDC), the platform that supports emerging designers and sustainable brands, opened a pop-up space at 5-7 Foubert’s Place in London’s Carnaby, from 17-30 August 2023.

French Connection furthered expansion with a new store at Designer Outlet York

French Connection has today opened the doors to its latest store at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet York, just weeks after opening an additional outlet store at Outlet Shopping at the O2. The store joins a group of global retailers at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet such as Adidas, BOSS, Kurt Geiger, Michael Kors, Nike and more.

Marks & Spencer

Liverpool ONE unveiled grand Marks & Spencer flagship store opening

Marks & Spencer has opened its 70,000 sq ft store on Liverpool ONE’s South John Street, showcasing its “next generation” clothing as well as home & beauty departments.

The new M&S store is part of the retailer’s plans to invest approximately £480 million in its store rotation programme, which aims to create an M&S store estate “fit for the future” and create over 3,400 new jobs nationwide.

Victoria’s Secret to return to Bristol this November

Lingerie giant, Victoria’s Secret, is set to return to Bristol with a new store opening in Cribbs Causeway after closing its store in Cabot Circus just over a year ago. The new space will be home to the brand’s full product line, including bras, lingerie, sleepwear and of course, its fragrance portfolio. Customers can also expect to get their hands on its sister brand PINK.


In Pictures: Varley’s flagship debut in London’s Chelsea

Contemporary fashion label Varley, which uses patented fabrics to enhance performance, opened the doors to its first-ever European flagship on London’s King’s Road. The brand, which is also stocked at Selfridges, has signed a five-year lease with property manager Cadogan to occupy a 2,971 sq ft unit.

Puma made its Welsh debut at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Bridgend

Global sportswear brand, Puma, is set to bring its assortment of apparel and footwear to McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Bridgend with a new store set to open its doors 24 August. This marked the brand’s first brick-and-mortar location in Wales.

Neem London made Piccadilly pop-up store permanent and gears for Spitafields trial

Sustainable menswear brand Neem London made its pop-up store permanent at 7 Piccadilly Arcade in London’s St James’s, and has turned its attention to a new trial store at 10 Market Square in East London’s Spitafields – due to open on 20 September 2023.

ASOS partnered with Rokt for targeted post-purchase promotions

ASOS Media Group partnered with Rokt, the e-commerce technology platform that uses machine learning and AI to make transactions more relevant to each shopper, to deliver more targeted post-purchase promotions.

Wagamama’s uniforms underwent a sustainable makeover powered by Pangaia

Restaurant chain Wagamama joined forces with Pangaia, the trailblazing materials science company, to launch a slow fashion uniform collaboration titled: ‘Wagamama, powered by Pangaia’.

Shein joined forces with Forever 21’s parent company SPARC Group

Chinese online fast fashion and beauty retailer Shein partnered with Forever 21’s parent company SPARC Group in a joint venture that includes Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and Simon Property Group.

The “strategic partnership” saw Shein acquire approximately one-third interest in SPARC Group, which also designs, manufactures and distributes brands including Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Lucky Brand, Nautica and Reebok.


British heritage brands Mulberry and Paul Smith joined forces on handbag collection

Mulberry and Paul Smith, two brands synonymous with British heritage and style, partnered up on a collaborative collection of reimagined ‘Antony’ handbags.

Dr Martens gave Central Saint Martins students a chance to reinterpret 1460 boot

Dr Martens teamed up with Central Saint Martins for a second time to offer standout MA Fashion course students the chance to use the brand’s famous 1460 boot as “a new expressive canvas”.

New Look teamed up with ZigZag to introduce in-store return kiosks

High street retailer, New Look,  partnered up with ZigZag Global, a provider of technology-driven retail returns solutions, to install return kiosks in select stores across the UK this week.

Powered by ZigZag’s returns platform, the kiosks provide a free and convenient return option for customers. This will significantly reduce the amount of time spent by in-store staff processing returns, whilst improving data collection.

AMI tapped into to ‘rugbycore’ trend with a collaboration collection with player Antoine Dupont

Parisian fashion brand AMI launched a capsule limited edition collaboration collection with France rugby union player and AMI ambassador, Antoine Dupont, who also stars in the campaign.


In Pictures: Designer Daniëlle Cathari reimagined Clarks’ iconic Wallabee silhouette

Highstreet footwear retailer, Clarks, joined forces with Amsterdam-based fashion designer, Daniëlle Cathari, on a collaborative collection of reworked Wallabees. Cathari, known for her subversive take on classic designs, brought her creative vision to an iconic Clarks Originals silhouette – the Wallabee.

Labrum launched a limited edition capsule collection with Guinness

Menswear brand Labrum, whose Founder and Creative Director Foday Dumbuya was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design in May 2023, launched a limited edition collection with Irish beer brand Guinness on 7 August.

Naomie Harris joined forces with Omnes on an accessible yet Oscar-worthy collection

Omnes, renowned for its sustainable, inclusive and accessible ethos, is today bringing a collection of red-carpet-ready dresses – co-created with BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated actress Naomie Harris OBE – to its loyal following.

In Pictures: PLT channelled La La Anthony’s ‘female confidence’ in a new collection

Fast fashion e-tailer, PrettyLittleThing, co-created a collection with its brand ambassador, La La Anthony, who recently made headlines after hosting the Met Gala red carpet.

In Pictures: Uniqlo revealed Roger Federer and JW Anderson’s co-created collection

Global high street retailer Uniqlo unveiled the new collection in collaboration with tennis legend Roger Federer and Irish designer JW Anderson. The collection combines Federer’s classicly British style with JW Anderson’s colourful rendition of modern sportswear.

Gap got a dose of LoveShackFancy’s fanciful frills in a limited-edition collection

Gap, the iconic high street retailer, and LoveShackFancy, a NewYork-founded luxury brand renowned for its fanciful frocks and romantic laces, announced a limited-edition collection of apparel and accessories that transcends generations.

The collaboration, which launches in the UK on 17 August, merges Gap’s instantly recognisable with LoveShackFancy’s nostalgic lace and vintage-inspired florals.

Hirestreet stepped into footwear rental with Schuh partnership

Hirestreet stepped into footwear rental for the first time in partnership with retailer Schuh. The rental platform said it was experiencing a record summer for occasionwear rental, with traffic up 300% year on year, and in July alone it had received 250 requests for shoes to complement the outfits.

Sandro launched a collaboration collection with Wrangler “inspired by 70s cowboy looks”

Parisian fashion brand Sandro joined forces with heritage US denim brand Wrangler on a 10-piece unisex collection “inspired by 70s cowboy looks”, with sustainability at the core – now available on the Sandro website.

Rental platforms My Wardrobe HQ and Rotaro consolidated stock to widen choice for customers

My Wardrobe HQ, the leading fashion rental marketplace, announced a collaboration with Gen Z-focused fashion rental website Rotaro, which centred around the consolidation of stock offered from the two rental platforms.

In Pictures: Eastpak’s backpacks underwent an update courtesy of Colorful Standard

VF Corp’s Eastpak and Colorful Standard, renowned for its sustainably-made basic apparel, teamed up on a collaborative collection to create durable and sustainable duffle bags, backpacks and belt bags.

In Pictures: Dior returned to Harrods with new Parisian-themed experiential pop-up

Luxury French house Dior once again descended upon department store Harrods, this time with a Parisian-themed festive summer pop-up shop.

In honour of the friendship forged with Harrods over nearly seventy years, Dior presented its fall 2023 women’s collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri with a series of pop-up shops across the ground floor at the department store.

True Fit and Shopify partnered up to make AI fit personalisation available to all retailers

True Fit, the leading AI platform that decodes size and fit for online customers, announced a partnership with Shopify, the e-commerce platform builder, to bring AI fit personalisation to merchants of any and all sizes.

Shopify merchants can now connect their brand to True Fit’s Fashion Genome, the broadest and richest globally connected apparel shopping platform, to build confidence in the buying journey and reduce fit-related returns.

Nobody’s Child partnered with Just A Group for sales and distribution

Eco-friendly fashion brand Nobody’s Child, in which M&S acquired a 27% stake in 2021, appointed Just a Group as wholesale and distribution partners for SS24. The initial wholesale campaign began this month, targeting selected independent boutiques in the UK.

Umbro teamed up with Percival for collection celebrating “The Academy of Footballing Excellence”

Menswear brand Percival became the latest fashion label to team up with heritage British sportswear brand Umbro for “The Academy of Footballing Excellence” capsule collection. The Umbro x Percival collection offers a selection of 90s-inspired fits that both celebrate the football heritage of Umbro and the style of Percival, but in a playful way.

Lydia Bolton Lime

Lydia Bolton launchesd‘Re-Cycle Collection’ in collaboration with Lime

London-based slow fashion designer Lydia Bolton launched a limited edition cycle-friendly collection with e-bike and e-scooter company Lime, using second-hand clothing sourced from charity retailer TRAID and deadstock fabrics.

The contemporary streetwear-led one-of-a-kind pieces in the ‘Re-Cylce Collection’ dropped exclusively on eBay via a charity auction on 14 August.

Swarovski reinvented Cinderella’s glass slipper for Disney’s 100th anniversary

Cinderella, and of course her glass slipper, is synonymous with the Disney brand. So, it came as no surprise that the crystal expert Swarovski joined forces with The Walt Disney Company – in celebration of its 100th year – to create a crystal rendition of the character’s glass relic.

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