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Punkyfish hooked on expansion

Young fashion brand Punkyfish is to cement its national retail presence by opening five new stores by the end of the year.

New stores in Leicester, Manchester, Derby and Cambridge will improve the London-based retailer's presence north of the capital. The fifth new store, in Bristol, will take its portfolio to 17 by December.

Punkyfish sells its quirky, street-oriented own-label designs to a target market of teens to 25-year-olds. It has also opened a new store in Camden, north London, with a storefit using antique furniture to offset its colourful collections.

The expansion reflects growing confidence at the privately-owned business, founded in 2001 by UK designer Kemal Gediz. Punkyfish sales manager Kate Bartkowska said: "We have established ourselves and feel secure. We're also looking to expand abroad."

Punkyfish's international presence includes three franchise stores in China, four in Malta and one in Israel. It is in talks to open a franchise in Bulgaria.

Its international business includes a tie-up with Italian urban fashion brand Frutta, which signed a five-year deal last week to sell Punkyfish clothing and accessories.

The brand added footwear by Co-Co-B Design to its offer this Easter.

Punkyfish's prices range from £12 to £25 for a top, and £25 to £35 for trousers.

It has 150 accounts in the UK and 750 globally. Wholesale accounts for 60% of the business.

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