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Office to invest £1m online ahead of international launch

Footwear retailer Office is to invest £1m in its online business as it prepares to revamp its website and launch overseas.

Office chief executive Brian McCluskey said the retailer, which this week appointed retail veteran Allan Leighton as non-executive chairman, will also improve its stock and warehouse systems as part the overhaul.

The 179-store retailer will launch international local language websites in France and Germany, which will trade in Euros, later this year.

“Getting product into these countries can provide a bridge to open stores there in future,” he said.

McCluskey said its systems need upgrading to keep pace with its growing online business.

“The platform we have at the moment is the same one that used to take £250,000 per year,” said McCluskey. “Online now accounts for 10% of our total business so we definitely need a new platform to be able to grow this even further.”

McCluskey did not rule out the possibility of launching click-and-collect in some stores but added that it would not be universal across the business because of a lack of space in stores.

He added that Leighton, famed for his turnaround of Asda in the 1990s, brings “a fantastic retail pedigree” to Office.  “We want Office to be a big business so someone with his level of experience both here and internationally will help us with that,” he added.

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