Oak Furniture Land hopes to have three physical stores in the US by next summer, Retail Week can reveal, as it ramps up its efforts to crack its new market.

The furniture stalwart’s international venture got underway when it launched a subsidiary business and an ecommerce site in the US last year. 

Oak Furniture Land has now appointed its first chief marketing officer – Ruth Harrison-Wood – to spearhead its US progress as well as its rapid store expansion in the UK. 

Commenting on the retailer’s US expansion, she says: “We’ve seen such an encouraging response to our online presence in the US, particularly from customers in the Northeast. Our aim is to have three new showrooms in this region by spring/summer 2018.”

Harrison-Wood – who has been hired from National Express – added that her “immediate priority” is to prepare the business for the upcoming January Sales and to analyse its audience segmentation.

Oak Furniture Land chief operating officer Terry King says: “Ruth has a wealth of experience and in-store customer journey knowledge, so this appointment will move us far closer to the Oak Furniture Land customer and their needs during what is set to be a rapid period of growth for the company.”

The retail park stalwart’s pre-tax profits nearly doubled in the full-year to September 30, 2016, reaching £15.2m, compared with £7.7m the previous year.

It currently has around 100 stores in the UK and plans to open 10 more before the end of 2017, and one a month throughout 2018.