Chain remains tight-lipped on business strategy

Two new Dobbies stores, in East Kilbride and York, are in planning for 2014 as expansion appears to be slowing at the Tesco-owned group.

The Edinburgh-based chain announced plans in 2008 to expand to 100 centres by 2018. Store numbers are currently at 34. Dobbies insisted last year: "We plan to take our total number of centres from 32 to 100 before the end of the decade."

A representative added that new chief executive Andy King will not be discussing business plans.

"We’ll be focusing our media strategy on consumer press as we head into spring, so we won’t be out talking business strategy — certainly for the next few months."

Dobbies has submitted planning applications to extend its offer at Braehead, Renfrewshire and Dundee, Tayside. The new space would be made available to concession businesses that "complement the existing Dobbies offer" and could open in late 2014.

A representative said: "We are keen to introduce new concepts to our Braehead and Dundee centres to offer an improved experience for our customers. It is envisaged that this new investment will lead to significant economic benefits for the local areas."

In east Kilbride, public consultation happened in December for a joint Tesco/Dobbies store. A joint Tesco/Dobbies centre opened in Kings Lynn in 2013.

At York, planning permission has been granted for a new centre.


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