Aurora Fashions, owner of high street chains Warehouse and Oasis, is creating a larger, dual-branded store format that will allow it to open in out-of-town retail parks.

According to The Times, Aurora hopes the plans for combined Warehouse and Oasis stores will help the company fight back against higher rents on smaller, high street outlets. It is understood that it is hoping to open the first store early next year.

Aurora chief executive Mike Shearwood said that the drive by retailers to open larger stores meant that landlords were squeezing the declining number of smaller shops. “Multi-brand sites are common internationally. We’re considering doing a trial in the UK of a multi-brand site to see how it would perform. If this format were to work, it may be an opportunity to do more,” he added, in an interview in today’s (November 8) paper.

The company, which was born out of the collapse of Mosaic Fashions, is understood to have performed well over the first half of its financial year, with like-for-like sales reported to be up by 5%. Warehouse and its more upmarket sister brand Karen Millen are thought to be the star performers.

Shearwood also outlined Aurora’s plans to grow through a mix of international expansion and online sales, which currently account for 10% of its business. It currently has stores in 46 countries.

Property agent Harper Dennis Hobbs acts for the retailer.