Overseas hopes for TM Lewin

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The Independent Online

The businesswear retailer TM Lewin reported a slowdown in UK trading yesterday but revealed ambitious plans to double sales by focusing on overseas expansion.

The company, which recently opened its 100th store in the UK, selling shirts, ties and accessories such as cufflinks, said UK sales increased 7 per cent in the six months to 27 August, compared to 21 per cent in the previous year. But while UK trading was hit by the squeeze on the high street it announced plans to grow its international business, which last year accounted for just 13 per centof its sales, to the same size as its UK business by 2016 as it taps into demand for UK tailoring.

Its expansion plans would see overseas sales increase from £13m to £88m in just five years.

The company, established in 1898, said overseas sales rose 26 per cent in the first half.