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Joe Browns targets 600 new wholesale accounts by end of year

Leeds-based home shopping retailer Joe Browns is accelerating its wholesale expansion, telling Drapers it is looking to open an additional 600 accounts by the end of 2015.

It will add around 90 points of sale to its existing 155 in the UK over the next nine months. About 210 are being sought in Australia, while the remainder – as many as 300 – will be in Germany.

The family-run casualwear business, which sells directly via catalogues and online, set up its wholesale arm in April 2014, and at the time poached footwear brand Emu Australia’s head of sales Emma Thaxter to lead its growth.

It has since built up 210 accounts in the UK and Europe, and about 75 in the US and Australia.

Gross sales totalled £85m in the 12 months to February 28, 2015, 65% of which comes from womenswear. The company is forecasting a 30% rise in turnover this year.

Founder and managing director Simon Brown told Drapers: “The two things I am most proud of are the people I work with and the fact that we have managed to build Joe Browns without borrowing a bean. In this game that is very difficult and I put that down to the product being right.”

Joe Browns was founded in 1998 and has 115 full-time employees. Wholesale prices range from £9 for a men’s T-shirt to £75 for a men’s leather jacket.

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