Fashion chain sold by Next to open ten new stores next year – is one coming near you? | The Sun

A FASHION chain sold by Next is to open ten new stores next year.

Lifestyle clothing brand Weird Fish has expansion plans spreading across the UK, it has been revealed.

The British firm which sells items on Next's website is preparing new outlets – and says market towns, city centres and holiday resorts are being targeted.

The Lake District in Cumbria and surrounding areas such as Liverpool and Manchester are among priority areas ahead.

New branches would add to Weird Fish's existing 29 UK stores, Drapers reported.

The company is celebrating a 50 per cent surge in retail sales over the past year, taking revenue to £9.8million.

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It has already launched eight extra shops this year – including in Ambleside in Cumbria, Boscastle in Cornwall and Evesham in Worcestershire.

Others openings came in Southwold and Aldeburgh in Suffolk, St David's in Pembrokeshire in Wales, Trentham in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire and Whitstable in Kent.

Managing director John Stockton said: "We looked specifically for resort locations where people don’t only go to shop but they are going for the weekend or vacations.

“If you think about the Lake District, you’ve got some big conurbations like Manchester and Liverpool and the Peak District has Sheffield, Derby and it’s not far from Leicester.

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"These stores are surrounded by populations that like to go the Lakes and The Peaks as leisure destinations."

He hailed how they did "well in school holidays" when families visit British-based tourist resorts.

He also highlighted what he called "nice resort locations" where they could expand such as the Cotswolds and Cornwall.

He suggested moving into more market towns "like Bury St Edmunds" in Suffolk – and also told how York was "our only city location at the moment" but more should follow after seeing "it has done well".

Mr Stockton also said he was encouraged by lifestyle industry progress including Next's purchase of Joules last December.

Next last month bought high street fashion chain Fatface for £115.2million.

The company also intervened to rescue furniture retailer Made.

Next previously began selling Gap clothing online in 2021 after taking over running that high street brand, then in stores early the following year.

It also agreed to buy struggling lingerie brand Victoria's Secret as well as taking a stake last year in baby and maternity clothing seller JoJo Maman Bebe.

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