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Marc Cain bolsters its franchise business with Questa deal

Womenswear brand Marc Cain is stepping up its retail ambitions in the UK, with plans to double its franchise store portfolio this year.

The German label, which has 64 stores worldwide, is opening a 1,000 sq ft store at 179 Westbourne Grove, in London's Notting Hill, on March 8 in a franchise deal with Cobham-based womenswear store Questa. It will be its third UK franchise, following the openings of shops in Belfast and St Helier in Jersey last year.

Questa co-owner Amanda Cook said she planned to open three or four more stores within the year and would like to increase that to about 10 within five years - all in and around London. "We have had such phenomenal success selling Marc Cain in our store that we are ambitious about the franchise operation," she said. "The label is so versatile that it sells to both mothers and daughters."

Cook and her business partner Jonathan Wells have brought in former Charles Tyrwhitt and Thomas Pink store manager Niall McCarthy to head up the franchise business.

A second store is planned for south-west London, but Cook said she was unable to confirm more details.

Marc Cain is supporting the planned openings with advertising in Vogue, Elle and Grazia later this year.

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