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Zabre eyes the mainland after bagging third store

Isle of Wight-based handbags and accessories independent Zabre is opening its third store on the island and is seeking to expand into further sites on the UK mainland.

Zabre, which opened its first store in 2005 and stocks brands such as Radley, Kipling, Ri2k and Fossil in its 900 sq ft store in Ryde and its 500 sq ft site in Cowes, will open a new 650 sq ft store in Newport this week.

The third store will stock a similar brand mix to the first two but will also stock Zandra Rhodes’ handbag collection.

Zabre development manager Sian Hudson is now scouting for sites just across the water in

Chichester in West Sussex and Lymington in Hampshire, and hopes to have a fourth store open within the year.

“Sales in the Cowes store are up 25% year on year so far in 2010 and Ryde is up 7%, so it’s a good time for us to expand,” she said. “I know the store would do well in small market towns on the mainland.”

Hudson has also sourced a selection of costume jewellery from China, which she launched into the stores under her own brand Jewellery Bazaar for autumn 10.

“I’m planning on selling Jewellery Bazaar as a wholesale brand from next year and developing a handbag brand too,” she added.

Zabre is also gearing up to unveil a transactional website in August.

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