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Deichmann plots assault on UK

German footwear chain Deichmann will take advantage of the weak property market and open up to 10 stores in the UK this year as part of wider plans to open up to 400 stores in the UK within the next 10 years.

Deichmann, which already has 31 stores in the UK, said it was looking at sites vacated by the likes of Woolworths and Zavvi, which both fell into administration in recent months.

Deichmann, which has previously hired pop bands the Sugababes and the Pussycat Dolls to promote its stores, plans to invest around £4.5 million in UK stores this year and is looking for sites of between 3,500sq ft and 5,000sq ft.

“Whether shopping for women’s, men’s or children’s shoes, people will always want good quality, fashionable items at fantastic prices. Our aim is to make fashionable shoes affordable and accessible to everyone.”

Heinrich Deichmann, chief executive, Deichmann Group

The first of this year’s 10 stores will open tomorrow at Westfield London, marking Deichmann’s first push into the South East of England. The store will be Deichmann’s flagship and is 7,300sq ft. Its existing UK stores are mainly based in the Midlands and North of England.

Deichmann is a self service value footwear concept in the mold of Shoe Zone, Brantano or Priceless. Prices start at £9.99. It has more than 2,500 stores across Europe and US and is a debt-free, privately owned company.

Deichmann group chief executive Heinrich Deichmann said: “The UK is a key market for us. We see a great deal of opportunity for expansion here across the next 10 years. Even with the difficult economic environment we see a positive pattern of opportunity and will scale-up our presence accordingly.”

“The nature of our business means that we are able to finance our plans organically without the need to raise external capital,” Heinrich Deichmann added.

“Whether shopping for women’s, men’s or children’s shoes, people will always want good quality, fashionable items at fantastic prices. Our aim is to make fashionable shoes affordable and accessible to everyone.”

Deichmann Group saw global sales rise 6.2% to €3.12 billion (£2.9bn) in 2007. In 2008, Deichmann sold more than 127 million pairs of shoes across the world.

 

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