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Fat Face to start US rollout this autumn

UK lifestyle retailer Fat Face is finally acting on plans to push into the US and will launch its first branch across the Atlantic in Boston this autumn.

Chief executive Anthony Thompson first unveiled plans to set up a dedicated US website and open two to three shops on the US east coast in 2013.

He now expects to have three shops open by May 2016 and as many as 10 in the next 18 months.

Speaking to Drapers, Thompson said: “We realised there are actually a lot more opportunities in terms of the types of formats we can take over there. As well as our destination stores, we believe our market town stores would work, as well as our shopping centre and transport stores. So I would expect to see a mix of each.”

“We’ve been working on this for quite some time. We’re ready, we’ve done our homework and we’ve located the right stores. It was about waiting until we did the work we needed to do to get it right.”

The US stores will stock the full Fat Face men’s, women’s and kid’s wear offering and feature the same shopfit. However, they will be around 500 sq ft smaller compared to UK shops.

A further 12 new stores are planned for the UK and Ireland this year, where it already has more than 200 shops.

Thompson also said he expects to expand into other European countries, including France and Germany, through wholesale and standalone stores within the next three to five years.

In December Fat Face posted a 26% increase in pre-tax profit to £39.3m for the year to May 31 as sales rose to £200m.

The business cancelled plans to float in May 2014 following concerns of dwindling interest in retail stocks at the time. The listing on the London Stock Exchange would have valued the business at £400m.



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