John Partridge in retail debut with first store

Luxury outdoor clothing wholesaler John Partridge, owned by Thomas Pink co-founder Peter Mullen, is opening the first of a planned chain of stores in London's West End.

The 110 sq m flagship, located on the corner of St James's Street and Piccadilly, is expected to open in the first week of November.

The shop is specifically targeted at affluent 25- to 45-year-old male and female customers, but will also carry clothing ranges for children.

John Partridge plans to open between six and 10 more shops over the next three years, as well as launching concessions in department stores. The retailer hopes to operate approximately 25 concessions in premium department stores over the next five years.

Chief executive David Wilkinson said: 'We want to build up critical mass in central London initially, and we're evaluating sites in Manchester, Leeds and other cities around the country.'

The expansion is being privately-funded by the company's management.