Duchess effect helps Reiss double its profits

Kate Middleton”s Midas touch strikes again as “Duchess effect” helps Reiss double its profits

With her impeccable grooming and growing sense of style, the Duchess of Cambridge is emerging as a valued ambassador for British fashion.

Her careful blending of high street and designer items has been credited with reviving interest in the flagging British High Street.

And now, as clothing chain Reiss posts a near doubling of profits, experts say the incredible success of the British store is thanks in part to the so-called “Duchess effect”.

Kate outshone Michelle Obama at an official engagement when she wore the cappuccino Shola dress by Reiss. Again, the dress sold out in minutes. Traffic to the company

Kate chose the nude Reiss Shola dress to greet Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace. The 175 dress sold out in minutes and traffic to the company”s website was boosted by 200% for a prolonged period

The 159 Nanette dress again, this time worn with a red Maple leaf hat and red shoes in a mark of respect for her host country on Kate and William

Kate wore the cream silk Nanette once again on the royal tour of Canada. /12/28/article-2079286-0CCA888D00000578-508_196x670.jpg” width=”196″ height=”670″ alt=”Catherine chose the 195 cream silk Peacock Reiss dress and matching Joseph jacket for a day at the races” class=”blkBorder” />

Catherine chose the 195 cream silk Peacock Reiss dress worn with Joseph jacket for a day at the races. The dress – which has an embroidered portion on the top half – was an instant hit. The website was swamped

According to accounts filed at Companies House, the British family-owned retailer has defied the consumer downturn, posting healthy profits while its closest rivals struggle.

Sales surged from 77.7million to 87.6million. Operating profits rose from 4.3million to 8.5million in the year to 31 January 2011. Pre-tax losses of 2.1million were converted into a profit of 3.64million.

Catherine has long been a loyal customer of Reiss, choosing the label for many of her public appearances.

But the real ringing Royal endorsement came when Miss Middleton, as shewas then, chose a cream silk Reiss dress for her official engagement photographs by Mario Testino.

Kate chose the 159 cream silk Nanette dress for her official engagement portrait by Mario Testino. A relaunched version sold at a rate of one per minute

Kate chose the 159 cream silk Nanette dress for her official engagement portrait by Mario Testino. A relaunched version sold at a rate of one per minute

The Duchess-to-be looked as chic as if she had chosen couture. The dress, which had been from the autumn/winter collection, had already sold out by the time the photographs were released.

Inundated with demands, Reiss relaunched the 159 Nanette dress, which went on to sell out across the UK and U.S.

REISS: A FAMILY AFFAIR

One of the country”s most successful British high street stores and Britain”s last big owner-founder run clothing empire, Reiss is run by David Reiss, who took over his father”sEast End gentleman”s outfitters in 1971.

Its expansion has seen it open114 shops and concessions across 14 countries, with a view to hitting the 260 store mark in the near future.

The website crashed under the demand, and the dress flew out at the rate of one every minute.

Later Catherine would wear a cappuccino origami sheath dress to meet Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace. On her Canadian tour she would choose a white three-quarter sleeve sheath, jauntily accessorised with a red hat.

Of course, such is the Duchess”s Midas touch that every item she wore went on to sell out almost instantaneously at Reiss stores and on the website.

Notoriously guarded about its clientele, Reiss declines to discuss Catherine”s endorsement, simply saying that the Duchess has long been a loyal customer at Reiss and always looks stunning.

Privately though, staff admit to being “delighted,” a sentiment that is no doubt echoed from the shop floor right up to the boardroom.