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Evans rebrands Essence as it rolls out new concept

Plus-size womenswear chain Evans is to rebrand its Essence range and roll out at least 10 new concept stores this year as part of an overhaul of the business.

The Arcadia-owned retailer will drop the Essence name and replace it with new sub-brand 'e'. The 'e' label will also go into the new-concept stores in an attempt to give the plus-size retailer a more fashionable edge.

Elements from the new look stores, such as flooring, fixtures, lifestyle graphics and changing rooms, will also be rolled out to a number of existing Evans shops, depending on their location and size.

The decision follows strong sales uplifts at Evans' first trial concept store, which opened in October at the Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock, Essex. Two of the new stores will open in the next two months in Stevenage in Hertfordshire and Lewisham in south-east London.

An Evans spokeswoman said the rebranding would be gradual. The new stores will still use the traditional Evans fascia, but the 'e' logo will be used in-store on all graphics.

"We are cleaning up the brand. The 'e' logo will coincide with new openings. It will look really strong," she said.

Design consultancy Dalziel & Pow was tasked with creating a contemporary and fashionable look for the concept stores, while ensuring they were conservative enough to retain Evans' core customers.

Chris Harris, who joins Arcadia from Blockbuster as property director in February, will take charge of the overhaul. He replaces Grahame Smith, who is moving to Mothercare.

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