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Menswear to be axed by Monsoon

Monsoon is phasing out menswear to make room for a strengthened womenswear offer.

The mainstream high street chain said menswear, which it currently sells in 43 of its 246 stores, will be replaced by a revamped footwear and accessories offer from next month. It will include an exclusive jewellery range designed by ethical jewellery brand Made.

Monsoon will also introduce its first full lingerie collection into 100 of its stores in October, which it said would further showcase the “distinctive Monsoon brand signature, style and design.”

The retailer added that in order to fully develop the initiatives, it had decided to axe menswear.

It said in a statement: “Monsoon is confident that these fantastic new areas, as well as the continued development of the core offer, will further enhance our brand positioning on the high street.”

The decision is a reversal of plans outlined in 2004 to roll out dedicated menswear standalones.

In that year, Monsoon launched menswear into five stores and opened one standalone shop. However, in 2007 it decided to close its menswear standalones in London’s Covent Garden and in Newcastle upon Tyne. 

In the 66 weeks to August 30, 2008, underlying UK sales fell 2.2% while operating profits grew 12% to £68m. Turnover grew 5.3% to £710m.

In April, Monsoon Accessorize put all its shop staff into consultation, after the retailer said it needed to “retemplate” store working hours.

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