Green aims for £250m more in sales at Bhs

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The Independent Online

Philip Green yesterday set his Bhs empire the goal of increasing sales by £250m as he announced plans to spend £20m on "freshening up" its 50 biggest stores over the next six weeks.

Philip Green yesterday set his Bhs empire the goal of increasing sales by £250m as he announced plans to spend £20m on "freshening up" its 50 biggest stores over the next six weeks. He hopes a revived Bhs will take sales from Marks & Spencer, the troubled retailer he failed to buy earlier this summer for £9bn.

Speaking as he unveiled the group's first marketing campaign, Mr Green also signalled he would loosen his personal grip on the retailer with the appointment of two key buying directors. Stephanie Chen will handle womenswear and fashion accessories, while Steve Lawton will look after menswear, Mr Green said, adding that Bhs would appoint its first in-house designer later this month. The pair were poached from Debenhams, the department store group.

Asked how he planned to use his spare time, Mr Green quipped: "I'm looking for a job."

Bhs is spending about £3m on its marketing campaign, which will run in the press from next month and include a television advertisement in time for Christmas. The strapline "Feel Bhs", echoes Marks & Spencer's "Your M&S" tagline.

"I'm quite prepared to take them [M&S] and anyone else on," Mr Green said. Commenting on his failed bid attempt, he said: "I deemed it not necessary to have to overpay for our own expertise. I would never jeopardise this business [Bhs] or any other for an ego trip."

Mr Green set Bhs the target of increasing its sales per square foot - about half that achieved by M&S - to £250 from £200. This would add £250m to the group's sales line.

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