Sir Stuart Rose-chaired young fashion chain Blue Inc is plotting international expansion as its recent acquisition of Officers Club helps propel UK growth.
Blue Inc opened its first overseas store in Kazakhstan in June but is developing a wider expansion plan across eastern Europe and Asia.
It will open a store in the Ukraine in the next month and more across the Baltic states, including Latvia and Lithuania, before the end of the year.
Blue Inc chief executive Steven Cohen believes eastern Europe holds the biggest opportunity for the retailer. He said: “We have a very international demographic. Before we launched in Kazakhstan, 18% of our website business came from Russia or former Russian countries.”
The retailer is also vying to take on the Asian market. It opened a store in the Philippines last month, will launch in Malaysia imminently and is expected to enter India next year.
Cohen said it would have eight overseas stores by the end of the year and at least 15 by the end of 2013.
In the UK, Officers Club, which Blue Inc bought out of administration last year, is helping to boost profits. Cohen predicted it would add more than £2m to the group’s bottom line this year.
Blue Inc has put £2m into revamping the Officers Club stores and has moved away from its discounting heritage.
Cohen said: “We’ve changed product price positioning. We believe in brand integrity and have a price strategy that mirrors that.”