Profits treble at shoe store group

Stead & Simpson's latest results, filed this week at companies house, prove that the footwear retailer has got the spring back in its step.

Pre-tax profits for the 53 weeks to January 4 more than trebled to£2.25 million, up from£608,000 for the 52 weeks last year. Turnover rose from£117.9 million to£125.5 million.

Stead & Simpson finance director Peter Foot said the figures were the result of the retailer's acquisition policy, which was designed to avoid an over-reliance on one store format. 'It has been about sorting out the business and is the culmination of the past four to five years' worth of acquisitions (of businesses),' he said.

The retailer now has four formats: the 250-strong Stead & Simpson chain; 43 Peter Briggs stores; 83 Shoe Express shops; and 24 outlet stores under the Famous Footwear and Lilley & Skinner fascias.

Foot said a large number of stores had been refitted and a Shoe Express store design trial has been under way in Plymouth since last autumn, with a second store refitted last month in Guildford. 'We're changing the fascia signage, flooring and merchandising units,' he said.

The refits are accompanied by a more fashionable value product offer.

In its other formats, more brands are being introduced.