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Suits You to revamp offer under new management

Speciality Retail Group will revamp its Suits You store concept and brand portfolio after appointing a new managing director in a management reshuffle.

Chairman Peter Lucas said the new team would be led by managing director Nick Keyte, who was promoted to the role from his position as buying director this week. The team will introduce more exclusive labels to the business.

Suits You will also be given a more upmarket shopfit when it opens its new stores in Liverpool, Merry Hill in Dudley and London’s White City by the end of the year, taking its portfolio to 74 shops. Lucas said he planned to have 100 Suits You shops by the end of 2009 after it was bought by Egyptian supplier Arafa Holding earlier this year. Lucas is also chairman of Arafa’s retail operations company and chairman and chief executive of menswear supplier BMB Group.

He said: “We need to get the Suits You store environment aligned with the type of customers we want to target. At the moment it looks like a clearance store with too many two-for-one deals and similar promotions. “We want to build the chain around style, quality and value. We can’t compete with supermarkets and we don’t want to compete with high street menswear chains such as Burton, but we can be the best value for money designer branded menswear business in the UK.”

For autumn, Suits You will stock its current brand line-up, including Ted Baker, Cerruti, Berwin & Berwin and Tom English, as well as introducing Gibson to its offer. Lucas said he would look to introduce more exclusive labels to the chain for spring 09, to differentiate it from rivals such as Moss Bros and Slater Menswear.

“At the moment you could walk into a Moss Bros and Suits You store and not tell the difference. I don’t mind brands with distribution in department stores, but I want an element of exclusivity,” said Lucas. Separately, Arafa Holding paid £3.7 million to increase its stake in supplier BMB Group from 40% to 60% this week.

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