The entrepreneur who bought the hugely popular Scandinavian discount store Tiger to British high streets is bringing French kids chain ÏD to the UK.
Philip Bier is looking to repeat Tiger’s success with the launch of a new children’s clothing and toy franchise. The first ÏD Kids store will open in Wandsworth in south-west London this May.
“The demographic is right in Wandsworth and there is an incredible concentration of buggies,” said Philip. “The intention is to make it a national chain of probably 50 shops.”
Philip says one of the strengths of ÏD Kids is that like Tiger it primarily sells own-label products so is a destination for shoppers. “If you want an ÏD product you have to go to ÏD. That’s one of the reasons Tiger worked so well. If you want Tiger products you have to go to Tiger.”
“If people say I’m mad I have some sympathy for that statement,” said Philip, talking about the current state of the UK retail climate. “But if you take Toys R Us they stood still and relied on doing the same thing for 25 years with no material change in their model. They just expected customers to turn up with a basket and fill it. That doesn’t happen anymore.”
With a turnover of €860m (£750m), ÏD Kids owns eight brands including kidswear label Okaïdi and Oxybul, a range of educational toys, and has a global network of 1,200 shops. This will be the first time the retailer has had a presence in the UK.
Philip sold his stake in Tiger last year. He now owns Bier Brothers along with his brother Jacob, focusing on bringing new retail brands to UK high streets.