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Footwear sales steady ship at USC after store investments cause drop in profits

Turnover at branded young fashion chain USC remained stable over the past year, with footwear selling particularly well. However, profits tumbled after significant investment in the company’s store portfolio.

Sales at the 39-strong chain, which sells brands including Diesel, Gio-Goi and G-Star, rose just 0.8% to £69.8m for the year to January 31. Pre-tax profit fell 43.6% to £753,440 as a result of “considerable investment” in new stores and an undisclosed number of refurbishments.

Spokesman Ewan Hunter said footwear had been “phenomenal” after USC brought dedicated footwear areas towards the front of stores. He said current trading was
in line with expectations but added that it would not be an easy year.

Expansion plans at the chain, which is owned by entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, include a store opening in Wakefield this weekend with another due to open in Newbury, Berkshire, in October. USC will open a further two to three stores this year.

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