Rox to expand into England after bumper Christmas

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Festive like-for-likes jump 29% as 2009 investments pay off

 Scottish retailer Rox is planning to expand into England after reporting its strongest Christmas trading results to date. The retailer is looking for shopping centre locations in Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and is also planning to launch a corporate gift business in spring.

Rox attributed its festive success to a heavyweight marketing campaign, improved infrastructure, a new store opening in Aberdeen and the launch of a buy-online-collect-in-store service. It said that strong trading has put it on target to achieve a turnover of £7.5m for the year ending 2010.

Like-for-like sales at Rox, which has three stores in Glasgow and one in Aberdeen, rose 29% in the eight weeks to January 3 compared with the same period last year. Overall sales jumped 69% and web sales rocketed 59%.

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Rox co-owner Kyron Keogh said: “We invested heavily in 2009 to improve our infrastructure including a new head office, warehouse and systems which puts us in a strong position as we look to expand in 2010. With our new infrastructure in place, we are in the position to open up to ten new stores with only marginal increases in head office overheads.

“Our strategy of expanding via new stores in new shopping centres has proved successful so far with late night shopping hours boosting our Christmas performance, and we will continue with this strategy in 2010.”

Rox said that sales at its Aberdeen store, which opened within the new Union Square shopping centre development in October, had enjoyed a successful first Christmas. Sales at the store, which cost £1m to open, were up 21% against targets over the festive period and the shop has been achieving a higher average customer spend than its Glasgow stores.

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