Fashion retailer Hobbs is putting more focus on accessories and footwear growth as it signs a deal for its first accessories-only concession.
The retailer is opening the concession in Arnotts department store in Dublin later this year selling bags and small leather goods.
Chief executive Nicky Dulieu told Retail Week that the retailer is in talks with other partners to open further concessions but is yet to sign another deal.
Delieu said the move was designed to bring accessories and footwear “back into the heart of the business”, which started life as footwear retailer.
“We’ve returned to the essence of the DNA. At the centre of the stores now is the shoe pavilion,” she added.
The fashion retailer is currently trialling the new store design in Bluewater and Guildford. The design is set to be rolled out to a third of its stores in the next six months.
Dulieu added: “Shoes and accessories are the way women buy into a brand and it is such a core part of the DNA and authenticity of the brand because it gives an overall impression of what it stands for through the quality of the leathers.”
In addition, Hobbs have created its House Mark, which will appear on each Hobbs product to show off its quality credentials.
Hobbs is also plotting its overseas expansion and will launch its first ever local content websites in Germany, Australia and the US towards the end of the year. Dulieu said she also plans to launch in China “fairly soon”.
The retailer recorded a 1.3% rise in EBITDA to £15.2m for the year to January 26, 2013. Total sales jumped 11.1% to £125m and online sales surged 52%, accounting for 22.1% of total sales.