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Bristol store a barometer for Oliver Bonas expansion plan

Contemporary fashion and lifestyle retailer Oliver Bonas is to expand outside its M25 heartland by opening a store in Bristol.

The 2,500 sq ft store will open in October, but the retailer refused to be drawn on the exact location. It wil be its first outside London and the Home Counties.

Managing director Oliver Tress said the Bristol store would be used to gauge how the retailer is received beyond the London area. If successful, it will look to open stores in locations such as Brighton.

“We did some demographic profiling before deciding on Bristol and it seemed to be the most suitable area for a store,” said Tress. “We will use the same profiling to determine where we will open our next stores away from London.”

The Bristol site is the second of five new stores that the retailer plans to open before the end of this year, the first being a 2,500sq ft store due to open on London’s High Street Kensington in September. It is looking at other London locations for the remaining three stores.

Tress added that Oliver Bonas will look to open a further five to 10 stores during 2012, adding to its estate of 28, as well as focusing on expanding its online operation.

“We will look to grow online sales dramatically. We will be fairly ambitious and say that next year we want to double what we have achieved online this year,” he said. The retailer will also look at launching a click-and-collect service as part of its online expansion.

In May, Oliver Bonas launched its first own-brand collection, Poem. The 21-piece womenswear collection sits alongside its branded offer including contemporary women- swear labels such as Vila.

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