N Brown is widening its appeal in the US by launching older women’s brand Marisota there.
Marisota joins N Brown’s younger womenswear brand Simply Be in the States following demand from shoppers who found the latter “too fashionable”, said N Brown director Alan White, who was replaced as chief executive by Angela Spindler this week.
The retailer expects to break into profit overseas in “a couple of years” according to White. It has ploughed additional marketing into the US which White said was pushing out the break-even point but would give it a bigger business.
N Brown will also launch menswear business Jacamo there.
The retailer will launch regional TV advertising to build the brands in the States.
As White stood down as chief executive after 10 years at the helm, he said N Brown’s speciality market was a good place to operate because it was benefiting from shop closures in tertiary high streets.
He said: “High street retail is contracting and every time a closes a store for the older, larger customer there’s a bit more for us to go for.”
N Brown has built market share in areas where Bonmarche closed stores following its administration in early 2012, he said.
The retailer’s like-for-likes climbed 7.8% in the 17 weeks to June 29 helped by warmer weather.
Jacamo was N Brown’s star-performer over the period - its sales soared 30%.