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Gloucestershire Business News

High street 'by no means dead', says Crew boss

Crew Clothing have unveiled plans to open up to 40 new stores as their boss said the high street "is by no means dead".

David Butler, chief executive of the chain - which has stores in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Cirencester - said the new stores would be opened in market towns and coastal resorts over the next two to three years.

Butler was quoted in The Times as saying: "We have to react to customer behaviour and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that people are shopping in stores again.

"Our footfall is back to pre-pandemic levels. It's why Marks & Spencer is investing in stores."

Crew Clothing was founded in 1993 by professional skier Alistair Parker-Swift as a menswear collection sold at the back of a windsurfing shop in Salcombe, Devon.

The company is owned by Brigadier Acquisition Company - the private equity owner of Moss Bros and Saltrock - and has 101 stores and 850 employees in the UK and Ireland.

Crew reported a 15% rise in sales in the seven weeks to January 8, boosted by demand in partywear.

Online sales were up by 15% compared with 2021 levels, benefiting from Crew's third-party digital partnership with retailers such as John Lewis and Next.

Men's knitwear and shirts were key areas of growth over the Christmas period.

Butler added that Crew's customer base was growing and he looked forward to maintaining momentum after strong sales growth in January.

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