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Yours Clothing branches into plus-size menswear

Yours Clothing will launch its plus-size menswear brand Bad Rhino for spring 16 following successful trials in selected stores and the soft launch of a website.

The Peterborough-based firm is targeting the plus-size menswear market with a range of fashionable, good value clothing that will be primarily sold online.

Prices are aimed at a similar level to Yours Clothing, with a formal long-sleeved shirt at £22 and T-shirts at £15 in sizes from medium (38-40”) up to 4XL (58-60”). The website also sells some third-party brands such as Slazenger, Duke London, Kangol and D555, but the emphasis will be on own-label for the official launch.

Resh Dorka, joint managing director at Yours Clothing, said: “We trialled around 30 pieces in two of our coastal Yours stores in Great Yarmouth and Skegness over summer, which worked really well. We had no signage or marketing, but our customers responded really well to the ranges.

“Now we’ve launched the website and customers can shop across both sites using one basket.”

He said some dual fascia Yours Clothing/Bad Rhino stores could open in the future, if the right opportunity arises.

Yours Clothing appointed its first menswear buyer last week. Dorka said the buyer has experience at Next and George, but declined to give a name.

Yours Clothing currently has 82 stores across the UK and has a further eight stores in the pipeline before the end of the year, including openings in Telford, Argyle Street in Glasgow, Belfast and East Anglia.

“Summer was tough for us like most other retailers, but we were still up by 30-40% on last year,” he said. “We were broadly flat on a like-for-like basis for the first six months of this year because we refurbished 12 stores so some were closed for a short period.”

He said the company will continue to open new stores next year and it is hoping to see the fruits of investment made this year.

“We invested a lot in our stores, our ranges and our team,” he said, explaining that Yours added around 30% to its head office team, which currently stands at around 80 people. “We have added buyers for specific categories like accessories and lingerie, as well as people in merchandising, brand and IT roles.”

Yours has not set a target for store openings in 2016 but said it is will focus on the South, Southwest, central London and Ireland.

“With 90 stores by the end of the year, we’re now in the position where are choosing store locations very strategically, but we are in the positive position where we could take a package of say 20 stores if they came up as a bankruptcy.”

The company’s turnover was £32.1m for the year ended February 2, 2014, compared with £27m during the same period last year. Pre-tax profit was £2.3m in 2014, up from £1.8m in 2013.

@Tara_Hounslea

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