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Exclusive: Hawes & Curtis aims to net overseas sales

Shirt specialist Hawes & Curtis is gearing up for international growth with a revamped website and franchise deals in the Middle East and Far East.

The site, www.hawesandcurtis.com, will relaunch in the next three weeks.

It is to be translated into German and Russian and those countries’ shoppers will be able to pay in local currencies, with prices converted from pounds.

For example, a shirt priced at £89 in the UK will retail at €109 in Germany.

“The main drive [for growth] is online and international,” said the retailer’s chairman, Touker Suleyman.

Online sales and international revenue represent about 25% and 20% respectively of Hawes & Curtis’s total £29m turnover. The company expects online sales to grow to 40% of sales once the local sites are launched.

Hawes & Curtis said the decision to focus on Russia was taken after it experienced consistent sales growth in the country over the past few years.

It said Germany represents a strong market for traditional English brands. The retailer has also signed a Middle Eastern franchise deal with United Arab Emirates conglomerate Korath Holdings to open 26 stores in the next five years.

Hawes & Curtis is in negotiations to open franchises in Indonesia and the Far East and plans to open a standalone flagship store in the US in late 2013.

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