3 Feb 2012

Briscoe Group boss aims to double number of stores

10:43 am on 3 February 2012

The head of the Briscoe Group says he plans to nearly double the number of outlets to 150, after forecasting the retailer's full-year profit will jump by a quarter due to strong sales.

The owner of the 79 Briscoes Homesware, Rebel Sports and Living and Giving stores is set to report an annual profit of $27 million when it releases its earnings result in March.

On Thursday, the company reported that sales rose 5% to $146 million in the fourth quarter, while a key indicator - sales at stores open at least a year rose 9%.

Briscoe Group managing director Rod Duke says despite the strong result, retailing remains a tough business because people have pulled back their spending or are demanding a bargain.

Mr Duke says despite tough times, he is aiming to add more stores, while at the same time boosting the group's online business.

He believes a weak commercial property market has been beneficial for negotiating new leases.

Rod Duke would not comment on suggestions he might buy the Dick Smith New Zealand operations, which Woolworths plans to flick on.