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Drapers Top 100 2017 – 83. Clare Nesbitt, CEO, Footasylum

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Footasylum boss Clare Nesbitt has had a whirlwind year after successfully floating the footwear chain on the London Stock Exchange’s Aim market on 2 November, with a £171.3m valuation. It plans to use the funds raised to fuel its expansion, aiming to boost its store count from 60 to 150.

Former JD Sports chief executive Barry Bown will join the business as executive chairman from 1 June 2018, when co-founder John Wardle retires from the role.

In June, the retailer opened its debut women’s-only store at Lands Lane in The Core Shopping Centre in Leeds. Footasylum is also looking at possible locations in London for its second women’s-only branch, and is planning to extend its women’s clothing offer to six of its biggest stores over the next 12 months to capitalise on the growing athleisure trend.

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