Pep&Co has signed for more than 30 of the initial 50 stores it will open from July.
The confirmed locations include Ellandi-owned shopping centres in Eastleigh in Hampshire, Chatham in Kent, Gloucester, Bootle in Merseyside, Falkirk, Grays in Essex and Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester. These join its first store in Newlands Shopping Centre, Kettering, also owned by Ellandi.
Former Asda chief executive Andy Bond, who is a co-investor in Pepkor UK, the investment firm behind the chain, told Drapers Pep&Co will be predominantly bricks-and-mortar focused, but did not rule out trading online in future.
“We will have an information website, [but] we haven’t yet made a decision one way or another about a transactional website,” he said. “I can’t imagine a retailer in the future not having a presence online, but I’m certainly not saying we are definitely going to deliver to home.”
He continued: “High streets certainly aren’t dead. There are a lot of very vibrant secondary high streets that are now much more significantly discount rather than mid-market locations.”
Pep&Co’s managing director and former Sainsbury’s Tu boss Adrian Mountford said that the chain’s merchandise will be refreshed every seven or eight weeks, to appeal to shoppers that typically visit the high street two or three times each week.
Watch the video from Drapers’ visit to the first confirmed location in Kettering last week.