Today is the day – the much-anticipated opening of Topshop.
Pictured: Topshop/Topman Brisbane and Topshop/Topman personal stylists Alex and Aisha
Topshop opens its doors in Brisbane
There was an eerie calm before the storm this morning as the guarded doors were cracked open for media previews and interviews. Passers-by peeked through the recently-unveiled shop windows for a glimpse of the UK brand’s largest store yet.
Described by spokesman Hilton Seskin as “a game changer in the Brisbane market”, the two-storey, 2200sqm store on the corner of Albert and Elizabeth Streets (formerly Borders) is a mecca of women and menswear (young adults and teens), shoes and accessories, as well as the biggest range of Topshop maternitywear in Australia.
Fashion industry magazine Ragtrader this week heralded more bad news for Australian department stores Myer and David Jones facing the influx of Topshop and Zara, soon H&M, into key retail positions in CBD locations across the country, something Seskin was keen to dismiss.
“We’re offering something that’s quite different,” says Seskin.
“Twice a week we receive new product and we’ve found that stimulates spending, not only in our stores but for surrounding retailers as well.”
What Topshop / Topman does offer is regularly updated fast fashion with one of the fastest catwalk-to-store turn-arounds in the industry. Trends are interpreted and packaged for the high street customer before they even realise what they want, and turned over every six weeks. New items are delivered from the UK twice each week to satisfy the ever-hungry trend-driven market.
Currently, the Topshop womenswear department is categorised into key looks including ‘Running Wild’ – a festival-ready mix of tie die, cut off denim and crochet, ‘Chateau Femme’ – which personal shopper Aisha describes as the Mary-Kate Olsen look (dishevelled but elegant with kimono-style tops and muted florals), and ‘Dear Siouxsie’, an edgy combination of prom dresses layered under denim vests, incorporating some pyjama style looks and silky separates. Menswear is of course up to the minute with coloured suiting, dapper accessories and a host of affordable basics.
The store is easy to navigate and is segmented with subtle detailing such as marble tiling in the personal styling area, heavier use of timber in the menswear space, and plenty of glass with floor-to-ceiling windows on both levels to capture the sunlight and open the store out to the surrounding city streets.
“Brisbane was always one of the first cities we were looking at but it’s all about finding the right store and configuration,” says Seskin.
“We spent about 12 months negotiating on the building and we feel like we really belong here. We’ve based a lot of the store on the Brisbane lifestyle too, it’s more summery and more areas are open.”
Competing on service as well as the immediacy of its fast fashion, Topshop provides a free personal shopping service across its mens and womenswear departments 7 days a week.
The store opens to the public tomorrow.