Fashion supplier in talks to buy menswear chain
Fashion group Marchpole is in talks to acquire a menswear chain, after operating profits doubled to£10.1 million for the year to March 31.

Turnover for the period shot up 135 per cent to£90.5 million and executive deputy chairman Michael Morris said the strong performance was down to 'hard work'.

He added he was in discussions to buy the menswear group and that he hoped to conclude a deal in the near future.

'We have learnt from our Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (JCC) stores. Vertical operations mean you can make very nice margin,' he said.

Morris said that performance had been helped by strong sales at John Lewis, one of Marchpole's key customers, but he conceded that the retail market was tough.

Separately, Marchpole will close its Homebody store in London's St John's Wood today, but Morris said he would launch a Homebody web site selling across Europe in August. 'We expect between£1 million and£1.5 million sales in the first year,' Morris said.

The company will also open JCC stores with partners in Japan, Russia and Dubai this year. Morris added that he was looking for a location for JCC in the UK, but that it had proved difficult to find the right site.

Marchpole subsidiary JCC signed a license with Lee Cooper and will product a new denim collection called JC-DC. The range will go into 250 Lee Cooper stores from spring 2008 worldwide. JCC will also design a premium range, JC de Castelbajac, to be sold in JCC flagships and top-end Lee Cooper stores.