Crew Clothing has unveiled expansion plans following a ‘post-pandemic bounceback’ and aims to open 40 new stores in the next few years.

The lifestyle fashion company has revealed it will focus the expansion on market towns and coastal resorts, The Times reported.

The planned expansion follows a strong Christmas trading performance from Crew, as its total store sales grew 15% in the seven weeks to January 8, 2023, compared with 2021.

Crew credited its performance to the rise in demand for partywear both in store and online.

Crew Clothing chief executive David Butler said that the high street is “by no means dead” and said of the expansion plans: “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.”

Crew’s store-opening plans came after retailers generally reported a bounceback in store trading and a fall-off in online sales. Retailers such as Primark and Marks & Spencer are among those to have reported strong recent performances from their store estates. 

After updating on Christmas performance last month, Butler was confident in the retailer’s prospects, saying: “Our core customer demographic and our unique 50/50 gender split are evident in Crew Clothing’s Christmas performance.

“Current trading is in line with our expectations and we are positive on the current 2023 outlook as we continue to invest in our growth.”