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BT2 ups womenswear offer in Dundrum store

Irish department store business Brown Thomas has pulled menswear from its younger branded fashion department store format BT2 in Dundrum, Dublin, and expanded its portfolio of womenswear brands in the store.

BT2, which has sister department stores on Dublin’s Grafton Street and at the Blanchardstown shopping centre, has upped the womenswear offer at Dundrum and relaunched its women’s footwear department via a concession deal with Kurt Geiger. It also sells women’s accessories and beauty products.

The menswear floor of the Dundrum store has been replaced by womenswear, which for autumn 09 features 15 new brands including Diane von Furstenberg, All Saints, Twenty8Twelve, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Paul & Joe. They sit alongside staple brands including Nümph, Juicy Couture, See by Chloé and Pinko.

Chief executive Nigel Blow said all of the company’s recent growth had come from cosmetics, accessories and womenswear, which prompted the rejig. He added: “Dundrum is holding up as the best-performing store against last year.”

The Kurt Geiger footwear department stocks brands such as Kurt Geiger and its KG sub-brand, as well as D&G, Ted Baker and Diesel.

Menswear is now only stocked in the BT2 store on Grafton Street, on the lower ground floor, and new brands such as All Saints, Scotch & Soda and underwear brand Ginch Gonch have been added to the offer.

The changes are the latest in a string of initiatives under Nigel Blow to drive sales. The former Harrods director became chief executive of the business in 2006.

In 2008, Brown Thomas relocated its menswear department in its Dublin store, opening a 22,000 sq ft department in the basement, plus a new jewellery and watch room.

Operating profits at Brown Thomas rose 15% to €23.1m (£19.9m) for the year to January 31, 2008.

Retail sales in Ireland increased month on month in June, rising for the first time in four months. The volume of retail sales, excluding cars, was 2% higher than in the previous month. However, sales were still down on last year.

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