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Licensing push at B Brands

Footwear supplier B Brands has set aside £2 million to spend on brand licences. B Brands managing director Richard Shetliffe said he had already secured a footwear licensing deal, to add to the B Brands roster of footwear licenses which include Morgan and Fullcircle, but declined to reveal details.

B Brands is a subsidiary of high street footwear supplier Browning Group, which is owned by Daniel Rubin and supplies the likes of Schuh and Barratts. B Brands generates sales of about £5m annually via its Morgan and Fullcircle licenses, which it has held for six seasons and two seasons respectively.

Shetliffe added that he was hunting for a young fashion footwear brand to add to the portfolio. “I am looking for an acquisition, either a small brand or an older brand that needs resurrecting. We are actively pursuing that,” he said.

The group is also developing its own brand, which will launch for autumn 08. The fledgling label will offer young sports styles in the mould of Rocket Dog and Blowfish, and is being created under the working name Bliss.

B Brands was founded in 2004 to plug a gap in the Browning Group portfolio and to take on rivals such as Lambert Howarth, which operated footwear licences for the likes of French Connection under its Concept LH subsidiary.

Lambert Howarth went into administration last week but Shetliffe said he had no interest in buying the Concept LH business.

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