N Brown to launch Simply Be stores

The catalogue and online-shopping group N Brown yesterday announced plans to develop its Simply Be womenswear brand as a high-street business.

The group, which also owns Figleaves and High & Mighty, will trial three stores in the North-west this year before deciding whether to carry out a full roll-out of the brand, which targets the plus-size market.

N Brown will also double Simply Be's marketing spend in the United States after an encouraging first few months of trading. The plans emerged as the company, whose other brands include Marisota and Jacamo, revealed record profits for the seventh year in a row – up by 5.5 per cent to £98.2m.