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Hobbs mulls launch of office pop-ups

Womenswear retailer Hobbs wants to install pop-up shops in offices to make it more convenient for its core customers to shop.

The retailer is looking to open “mini-stores” at offices on a temporary basis to sell its workwear range.

Hobbs chief executive Nicky Dulieu believes the stores would prove popular among its core customer – a professional woman short on time to shop.

The retailer opened its first pop-up shop in Spitalfields in April this year to showcase its NW3 label, which targets a younger demographic. Due to the shop’s success, the retailer has now taken on the lease on a permanent basis.

Dulieu said: “Pop-ups are a great way of trying out a different market.”

Hobbs is mulling opening more pop-ups, although it declined to say what locations it is considering. But Dulieu added that the property market needs to be more flexible to allow retailers to innovate.

She said: “Landlords are not always being flexible enough, they’re putting retailers off new markets, and the market must move if it’s to avoid shop closures.”

Hobbs delivered EBITDA up 4.9% to £15m in the year to January 28, generating turnover up 7.4% to £112.2m.

It appointed PwC in May to launch local language websites and Hobbs said Germany is its key focus initially.

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