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Sales rise fuels growth at TJ Hughes

TJ Hughes will drive sales of its own-label fashion ranges and push ahead with expansion after it said turnover increased 9.1% to £261.3m in the year to January 31.

The discount department store retailer, which stocks brands such as Birkenstock, Calvin Klein Underwear, Triumph and Slazenger at discounts of up to 40% alongside its own-label ranges, has taken its store count up to 52 stores by capitalising on locations left vacant following the collapse of Woolworths.

Chief executive Sue Tennant said the latest opening in Walsall gave the Liverpool-based retailer a “firm stronghold” in the Midlands.

TJ Hughes, which is backed by private equity firm Silverfleet Capital, said EBITDA increased 30% on last year to reach £9.2m, and that it has also signed to open a store in Belfast next spring. Tennant added that she was in negotiations to open a further four sites.

Tennant said the retailer, which has a 50/50 split between its fashion and non-fashion offers, had experienced “great success” in introducing own-label fashion and would ramp up its Mia Moda range for spring 10 and introduce new brand Elite. She said womenswear and kidswear had “enormous potential”.

Tennant will also focus on expanding the TJ Hughes website, which has 600 products online and reported an 80% growth in sales over the first half to August 1. She will also up direct sourcing, which presently accounts for 5% of the offer.

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