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Office signs deal with House of Fraser

Fashion footwear chain Office has signed a deal to open 17 concessions in House of Fraser from September.

The new concessions will be in sites across the UK including Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham and Belfast. The first Office-run concession will open in the new HoF store in Bristol this September. It will stock about 35% branded product plus Office’s own-label women’s product.

The deal has raised eyebrows because HoF has cut back its concession space for Shoe Studio Group, which is owned by Mosaic Fashions. Approximately 13 departments are affected. Both HoF and Shoe Studio Group are part-owned by Baugur, the investment firm. Two Kurt Geiger concessions are also affected.

Shoe Studio Group launched its young fashion footwear concessions in HoF last year. They were designed to showcase new ranges for Mosaic Fashions’ Oasis and Warehouse brands.

HoF chairman Don McCarthy denied the switch had come about due to poor sales. He said: “HoF’s strategy is to introduce new brands and put newness into our stores. Shoe Studio and Kurt Geiger will concentrate on our mainstream footwear offer and Office will do a good job and bring in young fashion brands.”

Mosaic Fashions chief executive Derek Lovelock said: “HoF asked us to test a young fashion area six months ago but we found we were just moving sales from one location to another.”

Office chief executive Brian McCluskey said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us. It should bring in between £6 million and £7m in year one.”

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