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Brand shake-up on the cards at Dolcis

New Dolcis owner rethinks brands and own-label offer ..

Footwear chain Dolcis is on the hunt for a designer to lead a new own-brand range as owner John Kinnaird rejigs its brand portfolio.

Kinnaird told Drapers he is on the lookout for someone of John Rocha or Jasper Conran mid-market calibre to front the own-brand. The entrepreneur bought the 70-store chain two months ago for £2.7 million from Alexon Group.

Dolcis will no longer carry the Kaliko footwear label, which is an offshoot of the womenswear chain that is still owned by Alexon. Kinnaird said the Kaliko brand, a classic contemporary women's offer targeted at over 35s, is no longer relevant to Dolcis consumers.

The chain is also considering dropping Tom Wolfe footwear. Alexon still sells Tom Wolfe clothing in its Envy stores and Debenhams concessions.

Instead, Dolcis will build up its core brand offer such as Rocket Dog and Bronx, and increase the branded business by 5% which will take it to 30% of the total offer. It also plans to push further into men's footwear. "Men's makes up 25% of the company turnover and there is a big opportunity there," said Kinnaird.

However, Dolcis has signed a long-term deal to continue supplying its existing own-brand footwear to Alexon fascias Bay Trading and Envy.

The retailer is also poised to make a foray into kids' footwear in the second half of the year, in a bid to bolster its product offer.

Kinnaird has hired Paul Drake, previously operations director of Envy, as managing director and Brian Hazelwood, previously of Original Shoe Co, as operations director. Both posts were vacant when Kinnaird bought the firm. He is still seeking a financial director and a buying director.

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