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Exclusive: Office sets foot abroad with German stores

Branded footwear retailer Office has unveiled plans to open its first stores outside the UK and Republic of Ireland next year on the back of soaring sales for the year to the end of January 2012.

Speaking exclusively to Drapers, chief executive Brian McCluskey said the retailer planned to open two stores in Germany by next summer.

“Germany is one of the EU’s biggest economies, and we see a lot of similarities between the two countries, so we are confident we could do well there,” he said.

Office is also looking to launch French and German-language versions of its website by early summer, and a US platform in the medium term. 

The expansion plans follow strong results for the full year to January 31, 2012, with turnover increasing 24% to £205m. Like-for-like sales were up 16% – the second year of double-digit growth – while EBITDA was £33.7m, a rise of 43% on the previous year.

McCluskey said: “Branded footwear continues to perform very strongly – this is true across both our men’s and women’s businesses.”

Online sales were up 30%, prompting McCluskey to migrate the website onto a new platform provider early next year.

Office opened seven stores and nine concessions over the period, and will have opened a further 11 stores by the end of the current financial year, taking its total number of outlets to 92 standalone stores and 56 concessions.

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