British designer Matthew Williamson announced plans to close the company’s London store in a series of moves set to push the brand in a new and more exciting direction. The news comes amidst shake-ups to boost the designer’s online presence and license-based operations.
“As we celebrate our eighteenth year in the business, it’s really exciting to be able to rethink our company and set new ideas in place,” said Williamson and fellow company founder Joseph Velosa to Vogue. “Over the years the industry and consumers have changed and we’re keen to address and respond to that. The aim is to refresh what’s there and create a lifestyle brand that we’re both truly proud of both creatively and commercially,” they added. New plans for the brand include a website e-commerce launch in 2016, whilst the physical Bruton Street store in London will close this summer. Williamson does still want to have a bricks and mortar presence though, and will be relocating to another central locale within the capital, which will act as both a showroom and an appointment-only space for his online clientele.
Responding to customers’ immediate purchase mentality has contributed in large to Williamson’s restructuring plans, and especially to his move into e-commerce, which will see his collections sold exclusively online direct to the customer season by season. “Our online success can be traced to our focus on delivering product with love and attention – that personal offline relationship that can often be overlooked in e-commerce,” explained business director Rosanna Falconer, who was previously the brand’s digital strategist. And after almost two decades in the business it’s little wonder that Williamson is looking to change things up. In 2012 the designer closed his New York flagship and this latest move on home territory indicates that some big and exciting shifts are in the pipeline for the label.