Beauty retailer and wholesaler Sally is targeting opening up to 25 UK stores in its new format which combines retail and trade areas.

The US-owned retailer, which has 253 trade and combined trade and retail stores in the UK and Ireland, plans to open five new format stores within the next 12 to 18 months, with two set to open in the next six months in city centres.

Richard Hull, managing director for the UK and Ireland at Sally’s parent company SBH, said: “We want to be a niche retailer in hair and beauty.

“We’re in a great position because we are able to sell professional brands such as Tigi. I want to have different brands from Boots, they cannot compete with us due to some of the professional brands.”

The store target comes after the retailer launched its new three-floor trade and retail flagship in London last year when it relocated its Shaftesbury Avenue store to New Oxford Street. Trade customers are required to use a membership card to pay on the wholesale floor while the remaining two floors retail beauty products and electricals.

Hull said its other combined trade and retail stores had not differentiated its offer enough because they were sold on the same floor and its trade offer outperformed its retail. Both divisions are performing equally well in the new format, the retailer said.

“Trade is still the cornerstone of the business,” said Hull. “We will never have retail as big as trade but this is the first time that we feel we have something different that will appeal [in retail].”

Hull said he is working to define the trade stores, which operate under the Salon Services fascia, and its combined retail and trade Sally stores, to clarify what they offer.

Hull said new format stores may also include nail bars, which have been piloted in its two Shear Beauty salons.

Sally has also been improving its logistics and distribution network to support online growth. This may also lead to the retailer introducing click-and-collect services in store for wholesale customers.