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Agent Provocateur plots rapid expansion under Kim Winser

Agent Provocateur, the luxury lingerie chain, plans to grow its ecommerce and licensing divisions and double its store numbers in the next three years under chairman Kim Winser.

Winser, who was appointed chairman earlier this month by private equity firm 3i, which owns Agent Provocateur, told WWD: “Lingerie in the luxury sector hasn’t been through its growth spurt yet.”

Agent Provocateur is set to open 53 stores over the next three years, taking the company’s total portfolio to 100 stores. Expansion will mainly be focused on international markets including Russia and the Far East.

Agent Provocateur has also promoted designer Sarah Shotton to creative director, replacing founder Joe Corré, who left the label in October. Garry Hogarth remains chief executive of the retailer.

Shotton told WWD that Agent Provocateur would focus more on swimwear in cup sizes up to an F, and on mix-and-match tops and bottoms.

Agent Provocateur has a turnover of about £22m and the company is expecting to post a double-digit sales increase in the year ending March 31. Winser added that the retailer is profitable in all its markets.

Winser, who was formerly chief executive of Aquascutum and Pringle, said ecommerce is a strong growth area for the retailer.

She said: “People are familiar with Agent Provocateur, and I think it’s comfortable for many women to buy lingerie on the internet. We also have a sizable business in giftware over the internet, and that draws in new customers.”

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