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Aquascutum invests as it looks to grow sales

Aquascutum is hoping to expand both its retail and wholesale arms as the company shakes off its recent “quiet” years.

The business this week opened its new London store on Great Marlborough Street, opposite department store Liberty.

Aquascutum chief operating officer Mark Taylor told Drapers he was actively looking for more sites in London’s Brompton Road, Bond Street and Covent Garden. He indicated he was looking for a unit bigger than the new 4,456 sq ft store.

Aquascutum is also testing the waters in regional cities such as Glasgow and Manchester through existing concession partners, with a view to opening standalone stores in the next three years.

Taylor said: “We’ve been quiet for too long and we have got to invest, and we are investing.

“This is the first time the brand has had the three critical elements it needs to make it successful – funding, belief and the right resources. [Hong Kong-based parent company] YGM Trading believes in the brand, they are willing to invest and the product isgetting stronger each season.”

Aquascutum is also hoping to increase its number of UK wholesalestockists, with Taylor saying this was“key” to the future of the business. At present wholesale makes up 15% of sales but Taylor is aiming to grow that to 20% to 25%,  although retail is also expected to grow significantly.

Accessories such as leather bags and small leather goods are being introduced next year. Women’s accessories will launch for spring 14, while men’s accessories are expected for autumn 14.

Head of design for menswear Thomas Harvey said: “The brand has been very quiet for the past two years and now we are trying to build a bit of momentum. What wholesalers want from us hasn’t changed massively in the last two or three years [but] now we’re a lot more focused, and hopefully able to provide it.”

YGM bought Aquascutum out of administration in May 2012 for £15m.

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