French Connection to woo US shoppers

French Connection is vowing to win over US shoppers with a major store opening drive.

French Connection is vowing to win over US shoppers with a major store opening drive.

The high street retailer, known for its controversial advertising slogans, will double its number of stores in the US and launch a public relations offensive.

The move comes after French Connection agreed a £22.8 million deal to buy the remaining 50% stake in its US-based business Best of All Clothing.

Best of All Clothing had been the exclusive wholesaler of its brand across the Atlantic.

Stephen Marks, chief executive, has hailed the move as a significant landmark in the London-based company's global expansion.

He said: "French Connection in the UK has grown far quicker than it has in the US. The potential is three or four times greater than the rest of the world. We have a tremendous base in the US and it is now up to us to build our presence there.

Mr Marks added: "With the general public in the US, we are not very well known. We have a big task to get ourselves across to the public."

BAC currently has 24 French Connection stores in the US, although that figure will now double in the wake of this deal. New openings will include a flagship store in San Francisco, a replica of the shop French Connection opened in Oxford Street, London last year.

French Connection also says it will look to third party licensees to expand the brand.

Meanwhile, French Connection says turnover and activity in the second half of its financial year had been in line with market expectations. It is due to announce its results for the year to January 31 next month.

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