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Phase Eight on acquisition trail

Bridge-level womenswear ret-ailer Phase Eight is looking for suitable acquisitions to accelerate its expansion plans in the UK and globally.

Phase Eight chief executive Simon Rider, who joined the retailer last July, told Drapers he planned to take advantage of the tough times, which he said would mean more businesses coming onto the market.

He said: “In the next six months we are looking to expand with the acquisition of a complementary business. We have committed stakeholders and investors.”

He added that the retailer was on target to open 16 stores a year in the UK for the next three years. It already has 76 standalones and 103 concessions in the UK.

Phase Eight also has six concessions in Debenhams stores in the Middle East, and aims to grow this to more than 20 in the next 18 months. Rider said he would also look to enter central and northern European markets .

In addition, Phase Eight is extending its accessories, footwear and daywear ranges by up to 20%. Rider said he would open bigger stores to accommodate the expanded ranges.
The retailer will also be raising prices on its dresses to more than £200.

Phase Eight has sales of about £63 million.

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