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Exclusive: Hawes & Curtis trims stores in online push

Jermyn Street shirtmaker Hawes & Curtis is in the process of closing seven stores as owner Touker Suleyman focuses on bigger flagships and ramping up his fashion businesses online.

Hawes & Curtis is expected to open a new flagship on Oxford Street, measuring between 7,000 and 8,000 sq ft, by the end of August. Property sources indicated it will be at 34-36 Oxford Street.

It is not known whether Hawes & Curtis’s store at 156 Oxford Street will close when the new flagship opens.

Suleyman told Drapers that looking ahead, the business will be concentrating on its online strategy and “good flagship floors” rather than continuing to build a store chain: “Rather than being a brand [that’s] got retail with some online, we’re going to be an online business with some retail.

“We’re making Hawes & Curtis nice and lean, and taking it to another level online. We have now created US, German and Australian websites, so we’re going international.”

Hawes & Curtis operates 21 stores in the UK and one in Cologne, its website says.

Hawes & Curtis had fallen into the red in 2015 following “difficult trading” in the UK, its most recent results showed. Sales were down 4% to £25.6m for the year to 31 December that year, compared with 2014.

Meanwhile, Suleyman said womenswear brand Finery London, in which he invested earlier this year, is now considering experimenting with a retail pop-up.

This would function as a “dot.com shop”, where customers try on clothes, pay in store and receive next-day delivery.

Suleyman said margins at Finery London have increased by “60% to 75%” since the start of his involvement with production in May.

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