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N Brown launches two new brands to lure higher-spending shoppers

Home shopping retailer N Brown will launch two new brands next month in a bid to target older, more fashion-conscious and higher-spending customers.

A new womenswear brand, called Marisota, targets 50-plus women, offering fashion-oriented pieces in a full range of sizes, lengths and fit options. Prices are similar to N Brown's other womenswear lines such as JD Williams and Simply Be, where dresses start at £20.

The second brand, called Jacamo, is for larger 30- to 50-year-old men, and is priced slightly higher than N Brown's existing menswear range Premier Man, which sells polos from £15.

The Jacamo men's catalogue will also feature external brands including Ben Sherman, Kickers and Ringspun.

The two new brands will have their own catalogues, published four times a year, but will also be sold online on separate websites.

Chief executive Alan White said: "Every year, customers are more confident about being a bit more fashionable, which is good because the more fashionable they are, the more they want to update their wardrobe. Across the portfolio, we're still covering customers aged 30 to the grave, but the older customers are buying younger product. It's a similar setup to Zara, where mothers and daughters shop together."

N Brown chairman David Alliance said sales growth was driven in part by increased average spend per customer.

"We have targeted our key customer groups with expanded catalogues and mid-season mailings. These include further additions to our range of sizes and fittings for clothing and footwear for both men and women," he said.

N Brown, which owns 24 brands, posted group sales of £533.8 million for the year to February 24, an increase of 13.9% on the year before.

The company announced an 11% rise in like-for-like sales for the 20 weeks to July 14. Total group turnover rose 15.8% for the period.

N BROWN IN FIGURES

Results for the 20 weeks to July 14

- Group turnover: up 15.8%

- Like-for-like growth: in core home shopping business up 11.1%

- Online sales: up 42%

- Gross margin: reduced by 1.3%.

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