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JoJo Maman Bébé on global expansion trail

Maternity retailer JoJo Maman Bébé will open its first international franchise in 2008 and four UK stores this year, as the company forecasts record annual growth.
JoJo Maman Bébé will open stores in London, Bristol, Exeter and Harrogate in North Yorkshire in the next month, with store sizes averaging 1,000sq ft.

Its first international franchise will open in Italy next year, and the firm plans to expand across Europe via a franchise model before heading to the Far East.

Managing director Laura Tenison said the company is growing at 25% year-on-year, with bricks and mortar store sales the fastest growing area. It also has a mail order and online operation. She said: “My vision is to regenerate the high street by opening shops mothers can walk to, rather than focusing on shopping malls and out-of-town centres.”

Tenison plans to open about one shop every six weeks, but has refused cash backing from venture capitalists to finance her plans. “We had some private equity interest, but I decided I could do it alone if I slowed down the retail growth. That way, I could also keep my existing supplier base,” she said.

The business will almost double its warehousing capacity in Wales to 37,000sq ft to support its growth strategy.
JoJo Maman Bébé has 20 stores in the UK.

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