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Business News

Designer George Davies mulls closure of Give stores

The retail entrepreneur George Davies is considering closing his UK chain of standalone Give stores just a year after the first one opened.

Mr Davies, the former chief executive of Next, who also launched the George at Asda and Per Una fashion brands, has opened eight standalone Give branches since last October, but this month offloaded the lease on his store on Regent Street in London. He is also believed to be negotiating to pull out of shops at the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield and in Kingston,Surrey, while two of the other Give stores are reportedly under offer from other retailers.

Mr Davies, who founded Per Una in 2001 and sold it to M&S in 2004 for £125m, said yesterday: "No final decision has been made with regard to any other store closures." According to reports, the remaining standalone Give stores could close in 2011.

Give will continue to trade in 16 independent department stores. Mr Davies revealed his locations for Give, which is targeted at women over 30, last summer.

At the time, he said: "Over the years I have developed a feeling for the customer who appreciates fashion and wants great value for money." But the standalone stores appear to have generated insufficient sales.