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Foreign shops plan invasion

Foreign retailers are planning an invasion of the UK high street with clothing stores topping the list of stores with big expansion plans.

According to the latest UK Retail Report from retail consultants Corporate Intelligence, foreign clothing retailers account for just 3 per cent of all clothing shops in the UK, with chains such as C&A, Benetton and The Gap leading the way. But that proportion is tipped to grow rapidly as overseas groups gear up for big store opening programmes.

The report says that La Senza, the Canadian-owned lingerie specialist, plans to increase its store numbers from 40 to 170 by 2000. It opened its first UK outlet in late 1994. TK Maxx, the American retailer which offers designer labels at discount prices, is hoping to increase its UK chain from 18 to 100 stores.

Separately, H&C Furnishings, the group formed by last year's merger of Harveys and Cantors, is set to announce a new concession deal with asupermarket group, understood to be Somerfield.