East targets new customers – and new countries

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The Independent Online

East, the womenswear chain inspired by eastern design, is targeting new customers and new countries in a bid to beat the slowdown of sales on the UK high street.

Indian retailer Fabindia increased its stake in the brand from 25 per cent to 62.5 per cent last month. This investment means East has the funding to expand overseas, where markets being considered include the Middle East.

Suzi Spink, East's chief operating officer, said: "UK retailers can either attract new customers or go into new markets – these are the only points of growth in this difficult consumer environment. We are doing both."

The chain also plans to target new customers who don't yet know the brand, which is aimed at women aged 40 and over. East has 100 UK outlets – with shops as well as concessions in stores that include Fenwick and John Lewis.