August 26, 2011 1:33 pm

Aquascutum poised to open more stores

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Aquascutum is poised to open a string of stores after selling the lease on its Regent Street flagship to Austin Reed for £5m.

Harold Tillman, who owns Aquascutum and Jaeger, said he had agreed terms for an Aquascutum store in Covent Garden. Aquascutum outlets will also open in the luxury hall in Westfield London and in Westfield Stratford, while it is expanding in Canary Wharf. Mr Tillman is also in negotiations for a store off of Bond Street.

Outside the UK, Mr Tillman plans to open a store in Milan next year, and in Rome as soon as the right site becomes available. Next year, he is also eyeing a move into New York.

Aquascutum has three shops within shops in Spanish department store El Corte Inglés, and will open another six by the end of this year.

The moves are part of plans by Mr Tillman and Belinda Earl, the highly-regarded former chief executive of Debenhams, to transform the company into a true luxury brand.

Rothschild is advising Mr Tillman on a possible sale of Jaeger after interest from potential acquirers.

Ms Earl denied industry suggestions that Jaeger was struggling amid the current consumer slowdown.

She said London was trading strongly, but conditions were more challenging in regional stores. It could review shops in some provincial locations as property leases expire as part of the management of the portfolio.

Jaeger has 45 standalone shops, 12 outlet stores and 79 concessions in the UK and Ireland.

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