The man who brought Tiger stores to the UK is launching a new children’s clothing and toy chain that’s set to take on middle class favourites such as Boden and John Lewis.
Philip Bier will open the first brand of the French chain ID Kids in Wandsworth, London next month, joining 1,200 other shops nationwide.
Its offerings are more expensive than high street brands such as Zara, H&M and Primark, but cheaper than middle class favourites like Boden, Rachel Riley and John Lewis.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 recently, the Danish entrepreneur said that there’s no other store like it on the British high street, whereas in France there’s much more choice for parents as children don’t wear school uniforms and need bigger wardrobes.
A £29.50 dress from ID Kids, which is opening in Wandsworth in London next week. The chain sells purse friendly children’s clothing to rival more expensive brands such as this £163 Bonpoint dres
A £55 boys shirt from royal favourite brand Rachel Riley. Right: A similar shirt for just £16.76 from ID Kids
Prices start at £4.99 for a basic t-shirt, while leggings will set parents back around £7 and a dress from around £15.
The brand also sells popular toy brands such as Sylvanian Families with some products costing up to £10 less at current exchange rates.
Bier is launching the brand despite the fate of similar retailers such as Toys R Us and struggling Mothercare.
The latter recently appointed KPMG to advise on a refinancing of the firm and is understood to be weighing up a company voluntary arrangement, a move which would allow it to close loss-making shops and secure deep discounts on rental costs.
ID Kids currently has 1,200 stores worldwide but UK customers can buy online ahead of its launch in Wandsworth in May
A cross between IKEA and Woolworths, Tiger offers everything from colour pop stationary to kitchen gadgets
Tiger was an instant hit with middle-class shoppers thanks to its colourful and quirky home accessories and stationary – all at bargain prices
THE TALE OF TIGER
Lennart Lajboschitz kick-started Tiger has a market stall in 1995 in his hometown of Copenhagen
It sold surplus goods and everything cost 10 Danish Crowns (£1.14)
By 2000, there were 38 Tiger stores in Denmark
In 2001, the first non-Danish store opened in Reykjavik, Iceland
In 2015, Tiger stores served more than 80 million customers across Europe, the US and Japan
As of last year there were 600 Tiger stores in 29 countries
And he is confident that his latest venture will transform the high street in the same was as Tiger, which was hailed as a middle class-friendly version of that store so beloved of bargain-hunters, Poundland.
‘The demographic is right in Wandsworth and there is an incredible amount of buggies,’ he told The Times.
Philip, who previously worked as a photographer, took out a second mortgage to open the brand’s first shop back in 2005 after meeting the founder and spotting a gap for it on British high street.
He hasn’t disclosed how much he and his wife sold their stake for, but a year earlier Tiger paid a £2m dividend to its owners in 2015, had sales of £41m and profits of £7m.
Philip and his wife Emma Bier, who opened the first Tiger shop in Basingstoke back in 2005, sold their stake in the company last year – and received a ‘multimillion-pound windfall’.
ID Kids dungarees costing £22 (left). The store is more expensive than high street favourites such as Zara Kids but less than designer brands like Guess, £39 (right)