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Mosaic plans footwear concept

Mosaic is rolling out multi-brand young fashion footwear and accessories departments to House of Fraser stores, as it extends its fascias' ranges and leverages its Baugur connections.

Mosaic chief executive Derek Lovelock told Drapers that the new footwear and accessories concept would debut in the Therapy area in selected House of Fraser stores in September, ahead of a wider roll-out.

"There will be Oasis and Warehouse in there, among others, and it will be serviced. We have yet to decide a name," he said.

The concept will coincide with the debut of a Karen Millen-branded lingerie and swimwear range, which will launch in department stores before Christmas.

If successful, Baugur-backed Mosaic will launch lingerie and swimwear for the rest of its retailers, including Oasis, Whistles, Warehouse and Principles.

Mosaic already owns Odille, a lingerie brand first launched in Oasis in 2004.

Mosaic revealed that sales for the year to January 27 rose 5% to £853 million. Lovelock said that Karen Millen, Warehouse and Principles had all performed strongly.

He added that Oasis, where sales had slipped, had lost some of its aspirational qualities, but had been repositioned at the upper end of the market under managing director Sharon O'Connor. "There's still more to do but we've had good feedback so far for this season," said Lovelock.

After four years of "spectacular" growth at Coast, he said the chain was experiencing tough current trading. "With dresses - Coast's strength - becoming a key fashion item, people have a lot more choice," he said. "Phase Eight, Ted Baker, Country Casuals and Warehouse have been doing a great job on dresses. It's not been the best season for Coast, but it will stabilise."

Although trading at Whistles was difficult last year, he said it was now improving.

Lovelock added that after hiring O'Connor for Oasis he had no immediate plans to appoint more managing directors, but said there were several key group roles to fill. One of those would be a replacement for Warehouse and Principles chief operating officer Mark McKeon, who left in February to join Dutch department store chain Vroom & Dreesman.

However, Lovelock said it was more about finding individuals right for the company rather than filling designated jobs.

Mosaic will open 70 stores globally in 2008, with a chunk of those accounting for Karen Millen's growth in Russia, where it has seven stores and Oasis has four. Warehouse and Principles will also launch in Russia.

All fascias will have transactional websites by Christmas, with Coast launching next, followed by Karen Millen and then Whistles. Oasis, Principles, Warehouse and Shoe Studio sites are already operational.

Lovelock said he believed Mosaic could grow its online business to account for 4% to 5% of sales within three years.

HOW MOSAIC HAS PERFORMED

Year to January 27, 2007

Sales: rose 5% to £853m

International sales: rose 28% (accounting for 15% of turnover)

Online sales: rose 253% to £7.7m

EBITDA: down 13% to £92.5m

FULL-YEAR VERDICT

Oasis: "Disappointing sales performance."

Coast: Sales rose 24%

Karen Millen: "Solid performance" with international sales up 64%

Whistles: "Difficult year."

Odille: "Strong like-for-likes."

FOURTH-QUARTER TRADING AT RUBICON*

Warehouse: Sales up 7%

Principles: "Strong margin performance, ahead of last year."

Shoe Studio: "Challenging year continued in fourth quarter."

*Mosaic bought Rubicon in October 2006.

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