LONDON — In its 30th anniversary year, Matchesfashion.com is on the move, with plans to open a second private town house at 5 Carlos Place near Mount Street in Mayfair.
The 5,000-square-foot building spans six floors and was formerly the showroom and sales space for jeweler Solange Azagury-Partridge, who has since moved to a smaller store in Bayswater.
It’s the second town house space for Matchesfashion: The first, known as No. 23, opened seven years ago in London’s Marylebone and the Georgian building is used to host events and service VIP customers by appointment.
Real estate sources estimate that Matchesfashion will be paying about 600,000 pounds, or $776,200, a year to lease the building from property owners the Grosvenor Estate.
The town house concept has become core to Matchesfashion.com’s growth strategy, a retail pillar that stands alongside the brand’s web site and the five brick-and-mortar stores it operates across London. Matchesfashion’s owners Tom and Ruth Chapman have always seen it as a social space where they can offer personalized service to their heavy-spending customers.
“It’s for clients who, for whatever reason, don’t want to shop in a store,” Tom Chapman told WWD’s Retail 2020 forum last month. “We use it to engage it with high-value existing customers, and there is no product held in a town house at all.”
Personal shoppers select the product according to the customers’ brief and take it to the town house. They only see merchandise that’s been selected for them, according to their brief.
The personal shoppers also connect with customers digitally, send them product recommendations, and visit clients internationally.
Talking about Matchesfashion’s mission, Chapman said: “We do the hard work for you. We keep it simple for the customers. We don’t want to be a marketplace or a department store. We want to be a curation of brands, a place where you discover something new.”
The Carlos Place location should prove to be a golden one for attracting — and retaining — international shoppers in particular. The town house is in the heart of Mayfair, across the street from The Connaught hotel, and neighbors include many of the brands that Matchesfashion carries. Roland Mouret, Kering and jeweler Jessica McCormack have town houses nearby, while Roksanda, Christopher Kane and Nicholas Kirkwood have shops around the corner on Mount Street.
This year, Matchesfashion has been taking the spirit of those town houses to the world with an “in-residence” program, with up to four events taking place over multiple days in New York, Paris and Los Angeles. The programs feature new emerging talents and brands, as well as talks and other customer events such as a flower arranging class and yoga.
The town house opening comes on the heels of another Matchesfashion brick-and-mortar play, the first stand-alone shop for its men’s and women’s in-house brand Raey. That new store is at 83 Ledbury Road in Notting Hill.
The company has been on a growth trajectory, with revenue increasing 61 percent to 204 million pounds, or $280 million, in fiscal 2016. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased nearly sixfold to 19 million pounds, or $26 million in the 12-month period.
Over the past year, the company has launched an on-demand, 90-minute delivery service across London; launched a customized French language site, and delivered 165 tech products aimed at improving the online shopping experience.