"… Rich in heritage – young in outlook"

Since the re-launch of our core First Avenue Brand in 2012 into a more segmented and targeted offer the derivations of "First Avenue Classic" and "Collection by First Avenue" have flourished.

First Avenue had been a staple own Brand within AIS for many years but latterly lacked some definition in its range construction and was not best placed to compete with the growth of other more fashion led Brands and the shifting expectations of female shoppers where lifestyle expectations and demographic changes were giving rise to a more contemporary fashion outlook.

classic aw15 collection aw15

First Avenue Classic was created and provided an updated refreshed brand for the traditional customer and a second more contemporary, and stylish, range was introduced as Collection but retaining "by First Avenue" as a supporting connection because of the heritage and equity in the Brand.

This was also the first step of a new womenswear strategy leading eventually to a further defined exclusive range hierarchy that would see a younger and more directional proposition introduced. That has now been realised with the launch of Juniper this Spring /Summer.

There have now been several seasons since that First Avenue re-launch and members have seen consistent success yet the Brands do not stand still and the fashion team are always learning from member feedback or the direct experience we get from Retail Division stores where, in particular, we are enjoying sell throughs of around 70%. That, together with promotional line successes and increase in unit orders, reinforces our view that the ranges are in tune with what customers want.

The most recent change has been in our choice of models to be the "faces" of Classic and Collection and these model makeovers, shown here for Autumn/Winter 15, were revealed at the last show and are intended to move the Brands forward with a more contemporary image.

The feedback from this show was very positive and members were happy to see that the Brands continue to evolve and move forward in a relevant way.

Victoria Coutts
Womenswear Product Developer
Tel: 0121 713 4458
Email: victoria.coutts@aistores.co.uk

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