Arcadia-owned mid-market fashion brand Wallis is overhauling its in-store look and is in talks with several design consultancies to establish how best to undertake the work.
It has confirmed that Fern Green is one of the consultancies taking part in a paid creative pitch, but refuses to disclose the other consultancies involved.
A consultancy is expected to be selected before Easter, says Wallis design co-ordinator Mark Standin. “We are listening to different groups’ ideas and will present back to them individually before making any decision,” he says. He says the retailer is working to a “very strict brief”, details of which he refuses to reveal.
Speculation about Arcadia divesting some of its many clothing brands, which include Principles, Warehouse, Miss Selfridge and Racing Green, has been rife in the City for months.
Retail research consultancy Verdict chairman Richard Hyman believes that Wallis is due for a facelift regardless of where it stands in Arcadia’s divestment plans. “My interpretation is that life goes on and Wallis may be scheduled to speak to designers anyway, whichever the parent company is,” he says.
The Arcadia executive director for personnel and services Keith Cameron, responsible for the BrandMAX initiative, a restructuring of the company’s retail portfolio, resigned two weeks ago. He will remain at Arcadia until the end of February to complete his work on BrandMAX. It is not known whether the Wallis job is related.