Design showcase: TFG London unites fashion brands

Fashion group TFG London has launched a new store format that brings all of its UK womenswear brands together under one roof. TFG London is part of South African retail company The Foschini Group, and owns fashion chains Hobbs, Whistles, Phase Eight, and Damsel in a Dress in the UK.

All four of the fashion retail brands are represented in the new TFG London-branded store format, which has opened its first branch at Intu Lakeside. It is the first time the new brand name has been applied to a store.

The store, which measures 454 sq m (4,890 sq ft), occupies a space next to a recently-extended branch of River Island and a forthcoming standalone Harrods beauty shop. Intu has been investing heavily in the centre to attract new retail and leisure tenants.

“Intu Lakeside has an affluent and growing catchment, making it the perfect location for the first TFG London store and its fantastic collection of aspirational brands,” says Intu regional managing director Kate Grant. It is understood that further TFG London stores are planned, with openings expected this year.

The TFG London store has been designed by an in-house team from UK fashion retailer Whistles, which worked with design agency Blass. The agency has previously worked on projects for Hobbs, as well as for retailers including Loaf, Monsoon, Accessorize, Little Mistress and Osprey London

The interior of TFG London provides a distinct space for each of the participating fashion brands, but with a flexible layout that allows each to expand or contract as required.

International group TFG was established in South Africa in 1924 and was first listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1941. It has grown to encompass 29 fashion brands, which cover a variety of sectors including clothing, jewellery, cosmetics, sporting apparel and equipment, plus mobile phones and homewares, across diverse price points.

The group's brands include Totalsports, American Swiss, Mat & May, Colette, Donna, Johnny Bigg, and Fabiani. South Africa and Namibia and the company's most significant African markets, and it has expanded internationally. As well as TFG London, it also owns TFG Australia. The company has grown through a combination of acquisition and the creation of its own new retail brands since its inception.

TFG London has been built up while the fashion retail sector in the UK has been undergoing a difficult time, with falling sales and many store closures. Hobbs, the most recent chain to join the group, was acquired in late 2017.

The group's business model includes a focus on the development of strong in-house design teams to capitalise on economies of scale, while it sources products and materials from around the world.