RAGTRADER:  Melinda Oliver

Melbourne:  The PAS Group has announced plans to almost double its store network, amid a shake up of women’s fashion brand Review.

Chief executive officer Eric Morris said an aggressive rollout will see the company grow overall fro 130 stores to around 250 within two and a half years, with Review and Metalicus the main drivers of growth.

Morris and Review currently operates a mix of 65 stores and Myer concessions and has the potential to hit around 80 to 90 sites

“Then we will look at [expansion into] New Zealand and South Africa,” he said.

The young womenswear label has recently undergone an overhaul, with a new design team in place for the last 12 months.

“The brand stood still for a while and the product never really evolved,” Morris said.

“It started becoming a little bit too similar to other brands out there; the Review brand has a unique quirkiness about it.  That is what we have been able to bring back into the brand.”

He said the brand has worked to improve its balance of basics and fashion items, with dresses pushed as a signature category.  A new store look is also being rolled out, evidenced in the recent opening at Westfield Sydney.

“We’re back to all our budgeted sales levels and the business is performing well.  We have invested in marketing which we hadn’t done for some time in Review, and on top of that have also redone the corporate collateral.”

The Metalicus brand will increase its 20-store retail presence with 12 more sites in the current financial year, followed by 24 over the next two financial years.  Recent openings include Westfield Sydney and Miranda in NSW, Stores in Marion and Claremont in South Australia and Karrinyup in Western Australia are also scheduled in coming months.

Morris said offshore expansion via licensing agreements is also planned, with Asia and South Africa the focus.

Store interiors, shopping bags, wingtags and marketing material have all been overhauled.

“The new stores have TV screens in which we are showing new looks and new fashion shows that we have done,” he said.

The company recently opened a pop-up store for its Move by Metalicus activewear range in Highpoint Melbourne, but Morris would not confirm if permanent stores for the line will be implemented.  He said retail potential exists for the brand’s toddler line Mini and tween line Miss, particularly in children’s precincts.

To facilitate changes, the Metalicus team has been boosted, with investment in marketing, in-store operations, product development and online departments.

The PAS Group is set to open its first two stores for accessories and bag line Fiorelli, located in Knox and Northland in Melbourne.  It will also look to expand its retail network for contemporary label Breakaway.

The six-year-old fashion house also operates Yarra Trail and Republic.