The Original Factory Shop has kicked off a store overhaul programme across nearly a fifth of its shops, Retail Week can reveal.

The value-led department store has rolled out a swathe of updates to 39 of its 220-unit bricks-and-mortar portfolio, with the intention of freeing up selling space.

Chief executive Emma Fox, who has been at the helm for eight months, told Retail Week: “Our stores have been underinvested in – we needed to give our customers a better shopping experience.

“The stores have a whole new look and feel which drives the new branding and makes it much more modern. We’ve taken a lot of the clutter out and given the space back to customers so our brands and ranges can pop.”

Fox said that The Original Factory Shop has rolled out varyingly dramatic changes, ranging from “a total change in layout” to “smaller scale changes”, and will take learnings from the cohort to eventually overhaul the entire estate.

“We’ve seen some very encouraging like-for-like uplift and interestingly where we’ve made the biggest changes in the stores we get an even better uplift, both across average basket value and transactions,” she said.

The retailer bolstered it executive team earlier this month with the appointment of former Hornby boss Steve Cooke as chief financial officer and former B&M operations director Carl Allen as chief operating officer.