French fashion house Daniel Hechter has given Perth's retail scene and male shoppers a vote of confidence with plans to open its first Australian store on St Georges Terrace.
The business wear specialist is set to start trading in March in a 100sqm space at the Newspaper House development under a partnership with Expedition Apparel.
"It's a good location in terms of architecture but also environment where we have new areas which are quite modern with a lot of business facilities and business people around," international licence director Tanguy Mulliez said.
Mr Mulliez said the company was not discouraged by the gloomy retail environment, which mainly affected those who offered the same products as others.
"If you have the right product at the right place you can still be successful," he said. "We saw that we had a different product and that we have our place in the market and we feel comfortable."
The move to open stores in both Perth and Melbourne follows a six-year presence in Australia for Daniel Hechter's men's and women's wear through third-party retailers such as David Jones and Myer.
The chain already has a marketing presence in WA through its sponsorship of the Fremantle Dockers. The sponsorship follows the company's backing sporting teams in nations where it has a presence. The fashion chain has 63 stores around the world and a turnover of � million ($258 million). Eighty per cent of the brand is in menswear.
Founder Daniel Hechter is widely credited as the creator of the pret- a-porter, or ready-to-wear, concept.