Footwear etailer Cloggs is planning to open a chain of standalone stores as it takes its off er more upmarket.
The JD Sports-owned branded retailer is close to signing a deal for a property in Shrewsbury, although the exact location has yet to be disclosed.
The store, which will open in December, will be followed by two more by the end of next year and, depending on their success, a chain of 20 shops within the next five years.
Managing director Chris Thomas told Drapers he was targeting high streets rather than shopping centres or out-of-town developments in order to reach Cloggs’ key Middle England demographic. It will focus on properties from “the Midlands down”, with St Albans and areas just north of the M25 being of particular interest.
“Market towns such as Shrewsbury are perfect for us,” Thomas said. “We want to appeal to Middle England with aboveaverage incomes, the mum who is shopping for her entire family on a Saturday afternoon.”
Cloggs previously had a store in the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham, which opened in 2009 but closed when JD Sports Fashion bought the business last year.
Cloggs is also changing its brand mix to cater to a more upmarket customer, moving average price points up to around £60.
“Since the acquisition we’ve taken on some great labels that are definitely more premium compared with where we were,” Thomas said.
Brands new to Cloggs since the takeover by JD include Joules, Clarks and Barbour. Oliver Sweeney and Hudson have also been signed up for 2014, along with up to 10 additional footwear labels that Thomas would not reveal the names of.
Cloggs has also dropped at least five lower-priced brands. “Our entry price point has to be at least £40, so we cut brands that retailed at around the £20 to £25 mark even though they were performing well for us,” said Thomas.
The Cloggs Boutique website, which was launched in 2011 and stocked the retailer’s more expensive brands, has been integrated into the main Cloggs site.
Cloggs has also appointed Kerry Jones as head buyer across all divisions, which is a newly created role at the business.