Shoe Zone plots move into vacant Maplin stores
Shoe Zone CEO Nick Davis has said that some ex-Maplin stores would be a good fit for its expansion, as it moves forward with its strategy to roll out its big box concept across the UK.
Last week, the footwear company reported profit before tax of £1m for the six months to 31 March, up from just £300,000 a year earlier. The performance was attributed to the growing number of stores with the big box format, with sales in these stores contributing £3.1m sales of the total £73.7m revenue in the first half.
The roll out will continue “in a managed expansion”, the company said. After releasing the trading update, CEO Nick Davis added: “we are looking at 10 Maplin stores over the next 18 months. The stores are typically 4,000 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft of sales floor space, which works well for us.”
Stores left vacant by Brantano, Carpetright and Toys R Us are also being considered.
Shoe Zone has 500 stores, but it has been reducing its property estate steadily since its IPO in 2014 to get rid of loss-making sites. Currently, these make up around 5% of the core estate.
Management said the retailer’s new big box focus is helping insulate the company against many of the structural issues faced by other retailers. There has also been an increase in vacant out of town retail space over the last months, which is contributing to the company finding more space “at the right size and price”.
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