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Men’s footwear independent eyes market towns for expansion

Premium men’s footwear independent The Brogue Trader is hoping to open nine new stores as it looks to bring “a bit of London’s Jermyn Street” to market towns across the UK.

The business, which has one store in Morgan Arcade in Cardiff, aims to expand its portfolio to 10 over the next five years starting with a shop in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre in Chester, which is due to open on December 1.

The Brogue Trader owner Chris Macnamara told Drapers he wants to bring premium footwear brands usually associated with iconic London shopping street Jermyn Street to market towns across the country.

This was the main reason he opened the store in Cardiff in December 2013. “I couldn’t access the level of footwear brands I wanted, like Loake, in Cardiff. I always had to go to London,” he explained. “I wanted to bring a bit of that service and luxury [here]. It’s more like a gentleman’s club than a store; it’s an experience.”

Macnamara will open a third store on Green Street in Bath in spring next year. Other towns he is sizing up include Oxford, York, Cheltenham and Canterbury.

All stores will follow the same format as the 650 sq ft Cardiff store, which carries 11 British footwear brands, five of which have a royal warrant. 

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