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East eyes Asian markets

Womenswear retailer East said it would target emerging markets after Indian retailer Fabindia bought a 25% stake in the business.

East chief executive Andrew Webb has also left the company. He has not yet been replaced, but Fabindia finance director Sunil Chainani will join the East board. The remaining team includes design director Penny Oliver, chief operating officer Suzi Spink and chief financial officer Jayne Worden.

A statement from the East management team said: “We are thrilled to have received this investment and to gain a new partner that will help to fund exciting future development for East, opening up new retailing opportunities in India and other emerging markets such as Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain, where Fabindia already trades. We are looking forward to building on the natural synergies that exist between the brands for our mutual benefit.”

Fabindia bought the stake for an undisclosed amount, and is understood to have the option to acquire the rest of the business within three years. East has an Indian-influenced heritage. The business was started by ex-Monsoon executives Clive Pettigrew, Penny Oliver and Jonathan Keating, and was originally a wholesale business called Anokhi. It now has more than 70 outlets in the UK, including concessions in John Lewis, and a transactional website.

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