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Coneys sees profits soar after takeover

Profits at contemporary indie Coneys in Boston, Lincolnshire, have spiralled in the past year after the department store was taken over by the owner of fellow Midlands indie Gere.

Scott Crowson, who is now managing director of both Coneys and Gere, which comprises three stores in Lincolnshire and Worcestershire, bought a majority stake in the 7,500 sq ft shop in December 2009 and has seen profits leap 100% in 14 months, generating turnover of £1.2m for the 12 months to December 1, 2010.

Crowson said the store, on Wide Bargate, had been running for 150 years and become a bit “run down”, with the womenswear section overstocked and the menswear area bare.

“It was like a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces were there but they weren’t in the right place,” said Crowson. “They’d lost their way, particularly on women’s. It was old and frumpy but we’ve taken it a bit younger. There was too much focus on classic brands and not as much on premium. Plus on both floors we made sure there was some fast fashion so there’s always something new each week.”

New brands including Boss Black, Diesel, Armani Jeans and Gant are also being added for autumn 11.

Crowson said the reception had been “brilliant”. “People travel for these brands and they’ve taken it more seriously,” he added. “We want to make it a destination.”

The shopfront was revamped in November. Next January, Conway will shut the store for two weeks to refresh the interior.

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