Kurt Geiger gives his best in the US
Expansion plans: Kurt Geiger has been selling shoes and bags in the US for five years
Kurt Geiger will open six stores in the United States, as sales in that country have surpassed the United Kingdom for the first time.
At its London headquarters, the British shoe chain is giving Oxford Street a boost with the recent opening of a glitzy flagship store on the famous street.
Boss Neil Clifford is also celebrating the 60th anniversary of the brand, which owns the Carvela label, with the launch of a Business by Design academy to help 18- to 20-year-olds build careers in the creative industries.
Kurt Geiger has been selling shoes and bags in the United States for five years online and through department stores Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Dillards.
Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, and Emily Blunt are known to be fans.
Clifford plans to open two stores in Florida, three in Southern California and one in New York next year to capitalize on booming sales, which have reached £250 million, 70 per cent of which are handbags. Sales are 30 per cent higher than the UK figure.
‘There’s a sweet spot at around £300 for a bag. “Not everyone can afford £4,000 for a designer bag, but many more people can expect to save £300,” Clifford said.
He added that he wants to be “part of the rejuvenation” of Oxford Street after other leading retailers fear its appeal to shoppers is waning and it has slumped in the market. The company, founded by Austrian businessman Kurt Geiger, opened its first store on Bond Street in 1963.
It currently has more than 70 stores worldwide and more than 170 concessions in department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges.
The Business by Design academy will begin in January with 20 young people. The part-time program is free and includes training in design, purchasing, e-commerce, sales and social media, plus paid work experience.
“We did this for our 60th anniversary instead of a fancy party,” Clifford said.
“The British are very creative. If there were an Olympic Games, we would win the gold medals.”
- Applications for the academy are open until November 12. www.kurtgeiger.com/kurt-geiger-kindness-foundation