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Footwear boosts Original Factory Shop profits

The Original Factory Shop will ramp up its footwear and fashion offers this year after the categories helped give the discount chain a bumper year of sales and profits.

Chief executive Angela Spindler said she was “confident of another good year” in 2010 after notching up a 31% increase in EBITDA to £14.7m in the year to March 28. Revenue jumped 35% to £132m in the year, on like-for-likes up 7%.

Spindler said the business benefited from advances made in fashion and particularly footwear, which together account for 55% of the chain’s product mix. In the current year the proportion of sales from fashion would “stay flat or grow a bit”, with footwear “a key differentiator”.

The retailer will focus on footwear range development this year, and tweak merchandising of the category for autumn.

The 134-store chain, which sells overstocks from retailers including Marks & Spencer, Next, Monsoon and French Connection at a 50% to 70% discount, opened 30 stores in the year, and plans another 35 openings this year. It wants 500 stores by 2020 but Spindler ruled out acquiring businesses to drive growth.

The Original Factory Shop launched its own-brand women’s casualwear range Mimosa at the start of March aimed at 40-plus shoppers and priced from £5 to £25. It also launched men’s casual range Headland, priced from £10 to £25.

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