Concessions are key to Shelly's comeback

Footwear retailer Shelly's, once famous for Doctor Marten boots, plans to open concessions in department stores and fashion shops as it embarks on a turnaround.

Chief executive of Shelly's owner Stylo, Michael Ziff, said the intention was to help boost the brand without opening new stores, and is looking for about 50 concessions. He is in talks with various retailers, although no deals have been signed.

Stylo bought Shelly's a year ago for£1.5 million, but late orders for autumn/winter ranges and high costs of clearing surplus stock led to a slump in sales last year. Since the acquisition, Shelly's has incurred a loss of£2.5 million.

However, Ziff is confident that a management reshuffle and better buying has stabilised Shelly's. 'The whole team has changed and we are starting to see a turnaround. We've got breakeven,' he said.

Stylo's Barratts chain is also in the throes of a turnaround. The retailer is selling fewer styles, but in more depth.

Following an increase in concession commission charged by Dorothy Perkins, Stylo has agreed to close 67 underperforming concessions and will close a further 50 in October. It has signed a deal to open concessions in 55 Etam stores.

Entrepreneur Jack Petchey has been building his Stylo stake and now holds 22.22 per cent.