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Azuri plots rapid expansion

Start-up accessories retailer Azuri made its debut last week with the opening of four stores.

Azuri, the brainchild of Charles Samuels, who founded accessories concession business Square Circle, is pitched between Topshop and River Island. He plans to open a total of 25 shops by the end of the year.

Samuels, who was advised by John Sunderland, former business development director at young fashion chain Select, last week opened four stores – ranging between 700sq ft and 1,000sq ft – in shopping centres in Doncaster, Warrington in Cheshire, Huddersfield in West Yorkshire and Ashford in Kent.

A further seven shops are expected to open in the next six weeks.

Samuels insisted there was room in the UK accessories market for another operator, despite increased competition from clothing multiples.

He said: “It’s still an expanding market and we’ll offer something different by giving our customers a complete accessories offer. For example, for summer we have swimwear and beach mats.”

Azuri’s offer also includes costume jewellery and handbags, with prices from £1 to £20. “We’re not as expensive as Accessorize but not as cheap as Claire’s,” added Samuels.

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