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Hobbs seeks 15 new stores

Premium womenswear retailer Hobbs is looking for around 15 new stores in UK market towns and London, and is expanding its concessions business internationally.

Hobbs is on strong footing under its new owner TFG Brands, which also owns Whistles and Phase Eight, chief executive Meg Lustman told Drapers.

Target locations include Stamford and Marlow, as well as a few locations in central London.

Lustman said that while the company is run independently from its sister firms, it is benefiting from the group structure in areas such as shared learning and staffing in certain department stores.

The retailer is opening new concessions in Singapore and Japan in September, and has recently expanded into Belgium and Kuwait. Its US business in department store Bloomingdale’s is proving particularly successful, Lustman said.

The news comes as Whistles is eyeing 33 locations in the UK for new stores, including Covent Garden and Regent Street in London, as well as market towns such as Beaconsfield, Chichester and Winchester.

Hobbs’ most recent results, for the year to 28 January 2017, showed that gross profit grew 8.7% to £76.2m compared with the previous year, while sales were up 9% to £119.5m.

Lustman, who joined in 2014, led the firm on a two-year turnaround programme that involved shutting some stores, streamlining its head office and making improvements to its product ranges and its online capabilities. The Foschini Group bought Hobbs in November 2017.

Hobbs has more than 50 stores in the UK and Ireland, and has concessions in a range of department stores including House of Fraser, Debenhams, John Lewis and Fenwick.

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • 15 new stores and a good few more where the concession / department store is closing.

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