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White stuff launches high-end diffusion line

Lifestyle retailer and brand White Stuff will launch a higher-priced diffusion line next month in response to customer demand for occasionwear.

The new range, which is called So Glad and Very, will debut as a 20-piece spring 10 capsule collection of dresses, skirts and tops. It will feature more detail and embellishment than the mainline and will use luxurious fabrics including silk. The collection will have a 30% higher price point, with retail prices ranging from £27.50 to £90.

White Stuff creative director Lee Cooper said: “Customers asked for something more dressy but not all black or sequins like Coast. It’s in the White Stuff handwriting to take them through from day to evening.”

So Glad and Very will initially be sold in White Stuff’s eight largest stores from April 7. The retailer is recruiting a buyer and a designer specifically for the range. The collection will be expanded and put into more stores for autumn 10 but will not be available at wholesale.

White Stuff will also grow its footwear and nightwear collections for autumn 10 after trialling both in selected stores last autumn.

White Stuff, which has 64 stores and 110 wholesale accounts in the UK, plans to continue its retail expansion by opening 10 stores a year across the UK and Europe. Initial overseas targets will be the countries where it currently has a wholesale presence, including Sweden, Norway and Germany in 2011.

White Stuff chief executive Sally Bailey said: “I think the UK could take a total of 130 stores but I want a third of our sales to come from outside the UK within three years.”

White Stuff said store sales were up 10% year on year, web and homeshopping sales up 100% and its wholesale business up 57%.

The company wants to grow its online and home-shopping business from 10% to 15% of turnover within two years. Total sales are on track to pass £100m next year.

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