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Mulberry founder to expand outlet centre

Mulberry founder Roger Saul is to add another six shops to his designer outlet centre Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, later this year.

Saul opened multibrand outlet store the Emporium, which sells more than 20 designer discounted labels, including Paul Smith and Joseph at a 30% discount, on the site in 2011.

A further 10 outlet shops, including Jack Wills, Toast and LK Bennett, opened in Kilver Court in 2012. The centre also houses homewares outlet the Great House and has two restaurants, event spaces and gardens.

The new shops, totalling nearly 5,200 sq ft, represent the second phase of development at the outlet centre and will open in early 2016. Saul declined to name the brands going into the new stores.

He told Drapers he plans to boost the number of shops to 40 in the next five years, as well as adding another restaurant and a hotel to the site.

“Now is the time to expand. A lot of brands are looking at outlets as the right way to shift stock. Some are taking their archive collections offline as they are worried about polluting their main business,” he explained.

“So far this year we have been really busy. Sales are up 60% over the last 14 weeks and footfall is up 20%.

“We are seeing a lot of quality buyers who see Kilver Court as a day out. Dwell time is longer and the average transaction value has increased.”

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