Danish entrepreneur Philip Bier to start UK franchise of French firm ÏD Kids.
Philip will open the first ÏD Kids store in Wandsworth next month after finalising a franchise deal with the eponymous French company. With a turnover of €860m (£750m), the retail giant owns eight brands including kidswear label Okaïdi and Oxybul, a range of educational toys, and has a global network of 1,200 shops.
Philip, who opened the first Tiger store in Basingstoke in 2005, became a multi-millionaire after selling his stake in the chain last year. The ambitious Dane has now set up Bier Brothers with his brother Jacob, a top mergers and acquisitions lawyer, to bring new retail brands to high streets.
Philip commented: “We want to be the preferred partner for foreign retailers who want to enter the UK. The ambition is to have six brands in five years’ time.”
He is pressing ahead with the new business despite a retail climate that has seen the share price of Mothercare plummet and Toys R Us enter administration.
“If people say I’m mad I have some sympathy for that statement,” says Philip. “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.”
The backdrop to the launch of ÏD Kids is a challenging one as the toy market shrank by 3% to £3.4bn in 2017. But despite the travails of Toys R Us, its rival The Entertainer recently reported a 37% increase in annual profits to £11.5m for 2017. The outlook for the children’s clothing market is more buoyant as it is forecast to grow by 8.1% between 2017 and 2022, according to retail analysts at GlobalData.