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Cheaney Shoes bought by Church & Co directors

Cheaney Shoes has been bought from owners Church & Co, a subsidiary of Prada Group in a management buy out.

Church’s former directors William Church, who is the great-great grandson of one of the founders of the Church brand, and his third cousin Jonathan Church, have left their roles at Church to focus on expanding Cheaney’s wholesale and retail presence as joint managing directors.

Cheaney currently makes one third of its shoes under the Cheaney brand and two thirds under own label for other brands and retailers. The new owners intend to shift that balance by growing Cheaney’s own retail presence as well as expanding wholesale.

Cheaney has 200 stockists including Selfridges and Harrods and high-end independents. It also has one retail store, on Bond Street in London.

The Church’s plan to expand slowly reach three or four London stores within the next three years before looking to the rest of the UK and eventually abroad.

Wholesale growth will target international markets.

William Church said: “Cheaney has a strong market in Japan but we need to grow that. We do a little bit of business in continental Europe and there is potential to considerably build on that but we will be making sure we have serve UK right first.”

The Church’s also plan to create a stronger differentiation between the collections within Cheaney’s product offer. Cheaney currently produces a top-end Cheaney Signature line, which will be reworked to add more of a contemporary twist to the classic shoes with new leathers and finishes. Other ranges include a more casual Country collection and a Core Classics line.

The reworked collections will relaunch for autumn 10 with new last shapes and new pattern developments but Church said the styles will remain contemporary classic and will continue to be 100% British made. The price points will remain the same. Cheaney shoes currently retail for approximately £150 to £225.

William Church said: “The web will be a more important marketing tool going forward. We will differentiate between our ranges and their different price points to make it more straightforward for the consumer.”

He added: “We also intend to make the website transactional as soon as possible.”

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