Kingston’s regional retail profile is moving upmarket

<--break->“><a href=The Kooples, a French high street brand, has opened a branch of their store in Kingston last October.

The sales assistant of the Kingston branch said, “People were not responsive to start with but we were very busy towards Christmas. We definitely met our company target sales a few times.”

While shops like Topshop, Zara and Reiss have always been in Kingston, recently the more expensive shops have started to open in town.

Whether or not these stores are making constant profit is questionable as the sales assistant at The Kooples said, “We constantly have people walking in and out of the store, however our average monthly income is lower than our branches in central London”

The reason behind that is due to the fact that Kingston remains a student town. The lack of middle-aged customers who would be more likely to purchase the expensive items is a main reason to what would be presumed as a lack of success.

However, Mr. Bob Ritchie, Bentalls centre director said, “By and large any stores within a group that operate in Kingston always cite that this location is one of their most profitable.”

Various unknown stores have closed in Kingston, however Mr. Joseph Jagger, Bentalls Centre Management said that there are currently no empty spaces in the mall.

Mr. Ritchie added, “After a successful run in the Centre, one store recently ceased trading as a result of their temporary lease coming to an end, in preparation for a new tenant taking over shortly.”

Well known brands are anxious to get a spot in this busy mall, Mr.Ritchie says, “We have a healthy list of retailers anxious to take space within the Centre.”

When asked if she was optimistic about the future of The Kooples in Kingston, the sales assistant said, “I know our stuff is more expensive and smarter than many of the shops surrounding us, however I feel optimistic that things will improve as soon as word of mouth gets around. The Kooples is a very smart and well known brand.”

Mr. Jagger, also added, “The Kooples fits the customer profile here in Kingston quite well.”

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