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Exclusive: Damsel in a Dress plots retail debut

Premium womenswear brand Damsel in a Dress has sets its sights on opening its first standalone store in 2014 alongside significant growth through its online, wholesale and concession channels.

Launched in February 2010 by the directors of high street supply business Amanda Marshall, Amanda Seabourne and Marshall Doctors, and former Marks & Spencer designer Alison Mansell, the business has seen 11% year-on-year growth, driven largely by online sales.

Mansell said investment in search-engine optimisation for its etail site in the past year had sparked an 84% uplift.

“We have been so pleased with how well the brand is doing that we are now looking at opening our first store in 2014,” she told Drapers.

Mansell said it was too early to reveal a location or timescale, although hinted that London’s West End was on the cards, as well as a store in a market town such as Marlow or Henley-on-Thames.

“We can tell from the John Lewis stores where the brand does particularly well, so that gives us a good idea about the best places to open,” she said.

Damsel in a Dress has 36 UK and Republic of Ireland concessions: in all 29 John Lewis stores, two Fenwick stores and four House of Fraser outlets, plus Arnotts in Dublin.

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