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Fat Face to open first US store

Fat Face has agreed a deal to open its first US store in the city of Portland, Maine, which is expected to open in November.

It hopes to have two US stores trading by Christmas and a third before the end of the financial year in May, all on the east coast.

Fat Face could not yet confirm the size of the Portland store, however, in general its US stores are expected to be slightly smaller than those in the UK and Ireland at about 1,000 sq ft.

The news comes after the British lifestyle retailer this week revealed its total sales increased 2.7% to £205.4m for the year to May 30, but EBITDA fell to £36.5m from £39.3m in 2014 due to the unseasonably warm autumn and increased capital expenditure investment.

Fat Face invested more than £9m across its stores, ecommerce and IT during the period – a record for the business.

Ecommerce sales increased 11% to represent 16.2% of the total, which is an increase of 14.9% on 2014. Web visits increased by 16.5% to 19 million, with 64% of visits to the optimised site now through tablet or mobile, up from 57% the year before.

Fat Face increased its store portfolio by 8% to span more than 350,000 sq ft during the year and now trades from 216 stores across the UK and Ireland.

Chief executive Anthony Thompson said: “After a difficult second quarter where the sector as a whole was impacted by the unexpectedly warm weather, we traded well through the Christmas period and over the year have continued to maintain our focus on being a full-price retailer.

“The year ahead is a particularly exciting one as we take the Fat Face brand to the US. Our dedicated US website is already live and we look forward to the phased roll-out of physical stores, initially on the east coast.”


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