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Expansion drive puts Apricot on course for £40m turnover

Women’s young fashion retailer Apricot is on track to increase sales by 250% from £13.5m to £40m in the year to February 28, 2011, after opening a string of concessions and standalone stores.

The company is set to expand its concessions in New Look with 50 openings by Christmas and a further 50 in the first two months of next year, taking its total New Look concession count to 270.

Apricot owner and chief executive Philip Chaimo told Drapers that Apricot was New Look’s top-performing concessionaire. The retailer also has 120 concessions in department store chains including House of Fraser and Debenhams.

Chaimo said he was planning to launch Apricot internationally next year, and was targeting to open 50 concessions in new markets including Germany, France and Spain in the next 18 months.

Apricot will open its 10th standalone store tomorrow in shopping centre Westfield London. Chaimo said the company planned to open two new standalones a year in unspecified “high profile” locations.

The 1,200 sq ft Westfield London store will be Apricot’s flagship and will have a new shopfit with a “spacious feel”, said Chaimo. It will feature a large orange light installation in the centre of the shop and hanging elevated mannequins. An edited selection of Apricot’s range will be available, including dresses and tunics retailing for between £22 and £39, and tops for £18 to £36.

Chaimo said: “We’ve increased brand awareness via new concessions, standalone stores and press coverage which has contributed to the uplift in sales. Apricot is strong on prints, and these have been selling well.” Apricot’s like-for-like store sales are forecast to rise 15% for the year to February, he added.

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