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Lee hopes to boost its UK profile with retail roll-out

Denim brand Lee is to roll out company-owned stores in the next two years to boost its profile in the UK.
Two stores are planned for this year, with a further two slated for opening in 2009.

“Currently we only have the Carnaby Street flagship in London, and we need to crank up our communication with our customers,” said Lee UK sales manager Dave Moreton. “We’ve repositioned the brand in terms of product and the emphasis is on making Lee a lifestyle brand.”

The business is hunting for units of between 1,500sq ft and 2,000sq ft in “quirky areas away from main high streets”.

Cities on the hit list include London, Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff, Brighton, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Belfast and Dublin.

Moreton has identified four “strategic wholesale accounts” – House of Fraser, Selfridges, Urban Outfitters and USC – which he hopes to persuade to buy deeper into Lee’s ranges.

Moreton said: “We currently have no menswear in House of Fraser, although we are in early negotiations to open menswear concessions in HoF.”
Moreton added that wholesale customers would be encouraged to use Lee’s branded fixtures and fittings to help reinforce the brand’s message.
Lee will open a new 250sq ft London showroom in the third week of June in Charlotte Road, Shoreditch.

The brand has consolidated its sub-brands into two ranges for autumn 08. Its directional Gold label is sold through 30 accounts, while the Lee mainline is sold through 370 doors.

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