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Sole Solution sizes up sites for expansion

Footwear mini chain Sole Solution is scouring the south for sites as it plans to double the size of its five-store business over the coming 12 months.

The retailer, which sells comfort brands including MBT, Josef Seibel, Ecco and El Naturalista, has ambitious plans to grow the business into a 50-store multiple and is kick-starting its expansion plans this year.

Sole Solution has a five-store portfolio in south-east England with shops in Brighton, Maidstone, Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells and a store in Canterbury, which opened last week.

Senior buyer Tony Kainady said the business was gearing up to open its sixth store in Bath this weekend.

Kainady added that the hunt for new stores was launched on the back of increased customer demand for bespoke comfort footwear.

“The business specialises in comfort footwear and custom-made orthotic shoes to help improve posture,” Kainady said. “We need to make sure that we have the right infrastructure in place before we expand and we will be adding to our team as the chain gets bigger.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for Sole Solution,” he added. “The footwear market is tough but we know our concept and the brands that we need to offer. We’re in total control.

“Most of our shops are boutique-size units situated in high street locations in affluent market towns and that’s exactly the kind of place where we want a presence.”

The business has appointed retail agent Stephen Kane & Co to look for units of between 750sq ft and 1,250sq ft in secondary high street locations and shopping centres in the south-east and south London.

Sole Solution, which is a privately owned business, acquired technical orthotic footwear manufacturer Langer UK earlier this year.

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