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Accessories and men's footwear fuel Faith's expansion strategy

Footwear chain Faith will roll out its accessories range and ramp up its men's offer in a bid to diversify from its mid-market base.

The retailer has hired a five-strong accessories team, led by senior buyer Vanessa Shepherd. She joins from Primark and is tasked with boosting Faith's accessories offer to more than 10% of the mix within 18 months.

At present, accessories account for a "single-digit" percentage of Faith's offer, but brand director Steven Swaby said there was room for more. "It is a natural progression. Increasing our offer will give us greater strength in the footwear market," he said.

He added that sales space for the new categories would come from "making existing space work harder and increasing sales densities".

Faith has been testing an own-brand jewellery, accessories and sunglasses offer through concessionaire Peter Black in nine stores since last season. It is also increasing its men's offer, upping the number of men's footwear options from 20 to 35 for autumn. It will roll it out to 12 top stores after a three-store trial.

Swaby added: "We have the chance to grow men's footwear to double digits within the mix in six to 12 months. We have done men's before, but this offer is wider and the brand is strong enough to support it."

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