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Dolcis to streamline its portfolio

Dolcis owner John Kinnaird has marked the first anniversary of buying the footwear chain by promising a new-look, slimmed-down store portfolio.
Kinnaird, who snapped up Dolcis with Epic Private Equity in December 2006 for £2.7 million, said the storefit unveiled at a new 2,200sq ft shop in Glasgow’s Silverburn centre last month would be rolled out to five more locations in the first three months of next year. “Dolcis was an old, tired brand that hadn’t been invested in for 20 years,” he said, adding that even the less fashion-led product looked better in the new environment.

As part of the shake-up, larger loss-making stores of around 3,500sq ft, which have rent bills of £350,000 to £400,000 a year, will be closed. These include shops in Glasgow, to close in January, and stores in Southampton, Liverpool, Sheffield Meadowhall and Lakeside in Essex.

Smaller stores of around 2,000sq ft, incorporating the new storefit by design group 20/20, will open in Thurrock, Meadowhall, Southampton and Liverpool, as well as a new standalone in Watford.

Kinnaird admitted the first year of trading since the buyout had seen “quite a big loss” and that Dolcis had yet to break into profit, although he said there was enough cash to cover the three-year recovery plan.

He said spring had been difficult due to poor ranges bought by the previous management, and that recent like-for-likes had been down in “single digits”, but with improved margins.

He added that trading had improved in the past couple of weeks, with women’s boots and occasionwear styles doing well.

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