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JoJo Maman Bébé grows 20% on new stores

Baby and maternity retailer JoJo Maman Bébé has reported a 20% growth in sales over the last 12 months due to store openings.

The 42-store boutique chain said the growth was due to nine new stores. Gross turnover for the 12 months to December 2011 was £28.6m – an 18% increase on 2010, while projected gross turnover 12 months to December 2012 stands at £35m, which would be a 22% rise on 2011.

Its retail store sales during July to December 2011 grew 2% on last year, while its online business, with multicurrency functionality, grew 8%.

Laura Tenison, founder and managing director, said growth had been consistent every year since launch: “The only year we stagnated was the year of the credit crunch.”

Tenison said the business has been opening between eight and 10 stores per year and is on track to open 12 more this year including sites in Glasgow, Chester, Nottingham, Market Harborough and Godalming in Surrey.  

They are “carefully chosen locations”, she said. “I look at other retail companies – the biggest are despairing at clearing their debts. I find the locations that work for the longevity of the business. We’re not influenced by large cash payments from shopping centres. They need to be sites that build the brand.”

International expansion, in particular the US, is also in development, with 68 trade accounts across New England, Boston and California.

“We have a multicurrency website and were able to see in real time from the analytics that we were doing well in east and west coast US. We feel that by growing moderately on a wholesale level we can grow organically. If growth is strong, we may support this with a flagship store. We have an attitude of longevity to the business. We have no desire to take on extra borrowings,” said Tenison.

Former Joules Clothing head of buying men’s and kidswear Mark Jeynes, who came on board last August, is leading the international operation.

“We have 68 trade accounts now with 18 confirmed orders from US within that, but many more pending confirmation. We will return to [trade show] Children’s Club, New York in March,” Tenison said.

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