Footwear label Ecco is axing three key UK retailers as part of a move away from comfort towards a younger market.
It is understood Ecco is to stop trading through Stead & Simpson, Scholl, Pavers and a number of smaller indies, representing more than 150 doors.
These retailers account for 10% of the Danish brand's UK turnover.
The company's withdrawal is in line with its plans to target high street operators, the department store sector and clothing retailers as part of what is being referred to internally as a 'trading up' strategy.
Ecco hopes the move will attract different types of customers, said a source close to the brand. "Ecco is targeting new, younger, more affluent and on-trend consumers," said the source. "The product shift and the repositioning reflect that."
Ecco is currently pushing into standalone stores in major city locations. Two more London stores are due to open this year, on King's Road and Regent Street.
Ecco has 250 UK accounts. Its 2006 turnover was £23 million, which is projected to rise to £28m in 2007.
The brand also recently signed a three-year sponsorship deal with London's V&A Museum, sponsoring fashion exhibitions as part of a new marketing drive.