Blue Inc creates 500 jobs with expansion

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The Independent Online

Blue Inc, the menswear retailer backed by the former boss of Marks & Spencer, is to create 500 jobs next year, as it steps up its expansion in the UK and overseas.

The retail group plans to open 20 shops in the UK next year, which will account for the majority of the new jobs, at a time when many retailers are slashing their store estate during the downturn.

Steven Cohen, the chief executive of Blue Inc, which also operates the Officers Club fascia, said: "We are helping unemployed young people get back into the job market," adding that 85 per cent of its 2,000-plus staff are younger than 29.

The 205-store menswear chain, which counts Sir Stuart Rose as chairman and an investor, also plans to open 18 stores overseas in 2013.

It is on track to increase underlying profits by 49 per cent to £5.5m this year, on sales up 44 per cent to £92m.