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Phase Eight plots US expansion

Women’s fashion retailer Phase Eight is considering expansion into the US.

Owned by private equity group TowerBrook, it already operates in 13 countries and is planning further growth outside the UK. It has 407 stores, with 98 outside the UK in locations including Australia, Switzerland and Germany.

Chief executive Ben Barnett said it has sent staff to the US to explore the possibilities in the country: “It is definitely interesting and we think the brand would work well there.”

He said it has seen a 15% rise in annual revenues to £141m in the year to February 1. Earnings before EBITDA rose 16% to £24m. Online sales rose by 24%, accounting for 16% of the business. Overseas sales now comprise 11.5% of turnover, up from 3.7% the year before.

Founded in 1979 in Wandsworth, south London, Phase Eight sells clothing aimed at the 35-plus age bracket. It offers eveningwear, bridalwear and accessories. Over the last year, it said sales were boosted by the launch of the Collection 8 range of evening dresses.

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