Francesca's launches Franki as standalone tween brand - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Thursday, November 4, 2021

Francesca's launches Franki as standalone tween brand


Dive Brief:

  • Franki, a tween brand quietly launched at Francesca's a year ago just ahead of its bankruptcy filing, is now a standalone brand, the retailer said Thursday.

  • Franki's dedicated website will launch on Nov. 15, and the brand will run its own social media, according to an emailed press release.

  • The brand also plans two pop-ups, with grand opening parties "featuring holiday TikTok backgrounds, local DJ's, monogram stations and sweet treats for customers while they shop," per the release. One will open Nov. 5 in Houston, the other Nov. 15 at Tyson's Corner in Virginia.

Dive Insight:

Francesca's CEO Andrew Clarke is a veteran of tween brand Justice, a former Limited banner that ended up in Ascena's portfolio.

For a while, under Clarke's leadership, Justice was Ascena's best performer, but the retailer disintegrated as Ascena struggled to manage an unwieldy collection of premium, budget and plus brands. Bluestar Alliance snapped up Justice during Ascena's bankruptcy last year after the brand jettisoned most of its stores. 

That gives Clarke an opportunity to reprise his success in the tween space without much competition. Franki has been testing standalone operations since the summer, Clarke told Retail Dive in September, and the supply chain issues plaguing most retailers apparently didn't impede the company's plans to open brick-and-mortar Franki locations by the holidays.

Francesca's itself Nov. 10 will host an in-person and livestreamed fashion show in Huntington Beach, California. The event, which will feature musician Emeline and TikTok notables Madison Lewis, Indiana Massara and Brooklyn Queen, will highlight a limited edition line of dresses and jewelry dubbed "Limelight," the company also said.


Daphne Howland, Khareem Sudlow