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LK Bennett steps up its expansion strategy

LK Bennett is ramping up its growth plans in a bid to increase its footprint in the premium market.

The women's fashion and footwear chain plans to open six stores and concessions in the next three months, adding to its 60-strong portfolio. This will include standalone shops in Chichester in West Sussex, Brompton Cross in London and Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, and concessions in House of Fraser's Reading, Leeds and Norwich stores. Further growth is planned next year, although the retailer would not reveal details.

The chain, owned by founder Linda Bennett, is refurbishing its flagship store on London's Brook Street. Trading space has been extended from 1,500 sq ft to 3,500 sq ft. Split over two floors, the new interior will include a statement bronze and limestone staircase leading to the lower level, which also has direct access from Lancashire Court.

The upper level has continued to trade and the lower refurbished level, which will house the retailer's fashion collection, is due to open in mid-May.

For autumn, LK Bennett is moving into millinery for the first time, with a six-piece range retailing at about £200. It will also launch a full jewellery collection.

The retailer has opened 14 stores in the past year, including nine standalones, as well as concessions in Harrods, Fenwick in York and Canterbury, and Hooper's in Wilmslow in Cheshire. It also unveiled a shop in Kildare in the Republic of Ireland.

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