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Fired Earth repositions to help sales

Home specialist Fired Earth is launching an 18-month store redevelopment programme and reviewing its product mix as part of a repositioning exercise aimed at boosting sales.

Aga Rangemaster, the retailer’s parent company, has also appointed Andrew Manders, a former partner at retail investment vehicle Arev, as interim retail managing director to oversee the strategy. Manders, who is also a former executive at KPMG, will take over the role imminently on a short-term contract.

The plans come after Aga revealed it expected the 65-store chain to make a £2m loss over 2010. The decline in profit comes despite rises in smaller orders, in footfall and in brochure requests.

Aga chief executive William McGrath said Fired Earth was looking to refit its 10 larger-format stores, which stock fitted kitchens and bathrooms alongside the core ranges of tiles, paint and flooring. The product mix in each store will be tailored to the demands of the local market. “There needs to be more competitive tension between ranges in each store,” he said.

The programme kicked off with a refurbishment of Fired Earth’s 5,000 sq ft store in Cobham, Surrey, which was completed in May. The store has already since reported a 20% rise in sales.

Source : Retail Week

10 September 2010
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