Whistles looks to double numbers with restructure

Womenswear retailer Whistles plans to more than double its store numbers by next year as part of a restructuring plan.

Since the estimated£6.5 million buy-in by Karen Millen co-founder Kevin Stanford earlier this year, the brand has already set about reducing its wholesale operation to take firmer control of design direction. The Whistles management team has also been reduced and transferred to Karen Millen's head office at Maidstone in Kent.

Whistles has asked newly-appointed property agent CWM to secure 13 high street stores between 140 sq m and 230 sq m by spring, taking its portfolio to 27 in total.

One new London store, at Westbourne Grove, is close to being secured.

Some of Karen Millen's Press & Bastyan stores may be converted to the Whistles brand, which has 20 concessions.

Stanford and Karen Millen sold a£26 million minority stake in the Karen Millen business last year.