US retail chains look to get a foothold in the British market

VICTORIA&rsquo;S Secret is crossing the Atlantic as part of a wave of US companies looking to establish a foothold in the UK and Europe.<br /><br />The US lingerie retailer is owned by Limited Brands, which has announced plans for international expansion.<br /><br />It follows news that Gap-owned Banana Republic, the smart-casual clothing chain which already has a store on Regent Street, is also looking to expand its UK business.<br /><br />Limited also owns the cosmetics chain Bath &amp; Body Works, which it is looking for a franchise partner for.<br /><br />Limited wants a slice of the UK&rsquo;s &pound;3.4bn underwear market, and intends to launch a flagship Victoria&rsquo;s Secret store in London, as well as an online site for all of Europe.<br /><br />Meanwhile, Banana Republic is understood to be very close to opening a store near to St Paul&rsquo;s Cathedral at One New Change.<br /><br />It also intends to open a store in Brent Cross this month, and another in Covent Garden next year.<br />