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Johnsons on the expansion trail with plans for seven new stores

South-east-based indepen-dent Johnsons Footwear is to double its number of stores by 2010, with plans to open seven shops in a growth and modernisation strategy.

The family-run chain will open three stores in the next two years, with four more to follow.

As well as the eponymous seven-store chain, the group also runs five Bowleys shops and a concession in department store WJ Daniel in Windsor, Berkshire.

The retailer is to expand in the Home Counties in locations such as Watford, Staines in Middlesex and towns in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, said Johnsons general manager Steve Ryrie. He added: "We are based in Shepperton in Middlesex, but there are new areas we want to target. The locations will be in wealthy towns where residents have more disposable income."

Existing Johnsons stores are located in Ashford in Middlesex, East Sheen, New Malden, Teddington, Twickenham, Walton-on-Thames and Windsor.

All new stores, which will measure about 4,500sq ft, will have a new shopfit designed to attract younger customers. It includes glass and pine fixtures, in contrast to the more traditional, dark look of existing stores.

The Windsor shop, which accounts for 17% of the group's turnover, has already been modernised, resulting in an 11% sales uplift, said Ryrie.

Johnsons' turnover for the year to January 31 2007 was £7.6 million.

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