Fashion retailer Oasis is pairing up with shoe retailer Dune to develop an in-store footwear offer.
Shoe specialist Dune is owned by Browning Enterprises, one of the largest fashion footwear importers in the UK. A new subsidiary - Footwear Solutions - has been established to run the joint venture.
Footwear Solutions has recruited Oasis's former footwear buyer, Polly Lythall, and her assistant Claire Hewstone. Miss Selfridge's former merchandise director Steven Swaby has been appointed managing director and joins next month.
A spokeswoman said the joint venture would be run on a performance-related basis. Both businesses hope to deliver 'significantly improved' footwear sales at the Oasis stores as a result of the deal.
As well as improving the product offer, the retail environment in which shoes are sold will also be upgraded. The new range will launch in August and initially roll out to the 78 stores and concessions in which Oasis sells shoes.
Oasis business development manager John Bovill said the retailer wanted expertise to develop the business. 'It made sense to work with a specialist like Dune,' he said.
However, the new subsidiary's expertise will not be restricted simply to Oasis. Footwear Solutions is searching for more opportunities to work with non-specialist retailers to enhance their footwear ranges. A branded footwear offer will also be developed.
Shoe retailing is increasingly becoming fashion store biased, as customers want to put together a whole outfit when they buy their footwear, or to buy footwear when they buy their outfits.