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Rohan to ramp up expansion and broaden its appeal

Outdoor specialist Rohan has pushed the button on aggressive expansion plans and is eyeing a 50% increase in sales during the next year.

The 48-store chain, which has opened six stores during the past two months, will grow to between 75 and 80 stores in the next year, encouraged by strong trading and a “re-energised” board of directors. Its portfolio includes six franchises.

It sells men’s and women’s wear ranging from a retail price of £15 for underwear to £300 for its Pinnacle jacket. Total sales were £18m for the year to June 30, up from £15.5m the year before. Like-for-like sales were up 11% during the year. The chain would not disclose profits.

Retail and HR director Ian Palmer said the appointment of the chain’s former owner Philip Parkinson 18 months ago as finance director had created a new focus.

He said: “We had the internal resources for growth before but not the momentum. Now the enthusiasm of the board drives growth.”

Future store openings will be split equally between Rohan-owned stores and franchise stores. The new stores will feature a refreshed format, aimed at broadening the retailer’s appeal.

Palmer said the previous store format focused too heavily on graphics associated with international travel. “[Clothing associated with] travel is one small part of what we do,” added Palmer.

Palmer said the new store format would feature imagery which explained the technical benefits of the products. “People will be encouraged through the door using bright colours, which will bring energy and excitement to stores,” he said. “We’re not going to be overpowering on graphics.”

The retailer will take on 75 to 100 new staff to support the expansion.

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