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High Concept

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Concept Fashion Group
Ghent, Belgium
Co-founders: Eric Clavie, Bruno Dejager, Frederik Deltour, Karel Decock
Locations: 15

One of the best ways for apparel retailers to stand out from lower-priced competitors, high-end boutiques and ever-convenient online retailers is by making their store a destination in itself. In March, Belgium’s Concept Fashion Group did just that, opening a flagship store built to replicate an entire city block.

Like a perfectly picturesque street, it has its own café with trained baristas; a “library” featuring jeans instead of books; a “butcher’s shop” selling handbags and shoes; and a Concept Cinema where various brands are displayed under one roof.

Concept Fashion Group partnered with design, marketing and communications group King George (named for the “mad King of England”) to develop the chain of apparel stores. Each of the group’s existing stores, all located in Belgium, carries the Concept Fashion Store name, and will be converted into individual, unique “concepts” over the next three to four years.

“When you are selling the same brands that every other apparel retailer is selling, you need a concept that is different,” says King George design specialist Nicolas Block. “People are surprised and astonished by our concepts, and that experience makes a big difference.”