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Dune Group set for overseas openings

The Dune Group is to grow its overseas presence by at least six times by 2015, when it expects overseas operations to account for 20% of total sales.

The footwear business, which comprises the Dune chain and the former Shoe Studio labels, including Pied a Terre and Bertie, plans to grow its overseas stores from 20 to between 120 and 150 by 2015. Its overseas stores, in locations such as Russia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, currently account for 5% of revenues.

The Dune Group plans to enter the US, Australia and Malta and expand in existing markets.

The company opened its first store in Libya, in Tripoli, last month and plans to open up to four more stores in the country in the next year. Last month it opened its first store in Poland, in Poznan, through franchise partner Ultimate Fashion. Two other stores are set to open later this year in Lodz and Warsaw.

The Dune Group also opened its second shop in Moscow last week, with three new Russian stores set to open later this year, in St Petersburg, Kazan and Moscow. It will also open a store in Saudi Arabia later this year.

The expansion is being spearheaded by Andrew Horton, managing director of Dune International, who joined the group in April from young fashion brand Ben Sherman where he was group retail director.

The international stores will sell the Dune range and other brands could be included in the future. The group is also considering rolling out separate branded stores depending on the success of the forthcoming Bertie and Pied a Terre standalones in London, which are set to open in the next two months.

Separately, the company has appointed Rob Bostock, former head of home shopping at White Stuff, as group head of ecommerce.

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