Claire's plans 'big year' for Girl Heaven concept

Claire's Accessories is to grow its Girl Heaven business into a 150-strong chain within three years if trials this year prove successful.

The retailer is also poised to launch its first Girl Heaven department store concessions in Debenhams and will open dual-branded Girl Heaven and Claire's Accessories stores.

Claire's Accessories chief executive Lyle Finlay said the brand had a great Christmas. 'This is a big year for Girl Heaven,' he said. 'We have got one or two things to tweak but think this (format)could go up to 150 stores. There is nothing to stop us opening 60 (Girl Heaven) stores a year. We've got the infrastructure and we know how to open stores.'

Girl Heaven is poised to open in four Debenhams stores, taking approximately 50 sq m of space, and four or five standalone shops will open this year.

The dual-format stores will measure approximately 95 sq m. The front of the shops will be dedicated to Claire's Accessories and the rear will house Girl Heaven. 'This allows us to move into larger stores,' said Finlay. The final fascia for the new store type has yet to be decided.

Finlay said Girl Heaven's product range has been revamped and is now focused on dressing up. The general clothing offer is being dropped.

Claire's took control of Girl Heaven two years ago, when it bought the business out of administration.