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Treds plots stores in university towns

Footwear retailer Treds has bolstered its store expansion plans following a £2.5m funding package from HSBC.

The company, which opened its first outlet in Weymouth in 1996, plans to increase its property portfolio from 33 to 40 shops in 2014 as a result of the investment.

The business forecasts that the planned expansion will increase turnover by 25% from the current £14.4m to approximately £20m a year. For the year to March 31, 2013, the company recorded an operating profit of £496,430. Like-for-like sales across its stores are up 5% year on year so far in 2013.

Managing director and owner of Treds, Stephen Kavanagh, told Drapers the company is scouting potential locations in smaller towns or cities that aren’t saturated by high street footwear chains.

“We are looking for underexposed areas that are not flooded by our competitors or places that are not having their footwear needs served. The local demographic is important – if there are young people or a university nearby that helps,” he said.

Treds has recently opened new stores in Cwmbran in Wales and Basildon in Essex and its existing store network is concentrated in the Southwest, the Midlands and the south coast, with its most northern store located in Nottingham.

Employee numbers are expected to grow from 260 to 340 at Treds as a result of the expansion, with the majority of roles being created for shop floor staff and management.

The company also plans to invest in its website, which currently makes up 12% of sales. In some stores and online, Treds also sells clothes and accessories.

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