P&C opening challenges H&M

Peek & Cloppenburg (P&C) will narrow the gap to market leader Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) when it opens a new store in the heart of Vienna, a market analysis company has explained.

RegioPlan said today (Tues) P&C’s share in the domestic fashion sector will improve thanks to the German company’s new 11,800-square-metre store in the city centre of the Austrian capital. The six-storey shop, where P&C products as well as designer fashion will be on sale, opens this Thursday (1 September). David Chipperfield designed the building. The British architect was also in charge of the appearance of Kaufhaus Tyrol, a shopping centre in Innsbruck, Tyrol. The mall opened in March 2010.

P&C’s new Viennese representation is situated only a few hundred metres from sights like St Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. The company – which refuses to disclose turnover figures – already runs shops in the city’s Donauzentrum mall and in Vienna-Neubau. Animal rights activists are regularly protesting against its usage of fur outside the latter branch.

The city centre store will be P&C’s eleventh in Austria. RegioPlan said H&M is ahead in Austria. The Swedish fashion giant tops the ranking followed by Germany’s C&A and P&C. RegioPlan said the clothes sector was “one of the most dynamic,” adding that growth was possible for next year. Businesses operating in the trade in Austria achieved an increase in turnover of 1.6 per cent, according to the analysis company. RegioPlan stressed that the development was mostly down to some firms’ expansions.

Research group KMU Forschung Austria recently announced that the turnover of clothing stores edged down by 0.9 per cent from the first six months of 2010 to the same period of this year.

The price for clothes and shoes declined by 13.1 per cent last month compared to July 2010 while products of most of the other relevant groups became more expensive. Statisticians explained the significant decrease in prices of clothing and shoes with the summer sale.

Austrian inflation rose by 3.5 per cent at the same time, according to Statistik Austria. The European Commission’s (EC) statistics organisation, Eurostat, even recorded a 3.8 per cent increase for the prices of products and services on sale in the alpine country in July 2011 compared to July 2010.