Clarks eyes international expansion

British shoemaker Clarks is said to be planning a major international push, according to media reports. The company, which employs 12,000 employees worldwide, is said to be driving international growth to combat a slowdown in profitability in the UK market. Profits in the year ended 31 January 2007 dropped to £69.4 million, down from £71.9 million the year before. Revenues, meanwhile, rose from £921.4 million to £972.7 million.

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It is believed the company will add 450 new overseas stores to its current roster of 500 stores over the next 10 years. According to the reports, Europe can expect the first influx of new stores, although the US is also thought to be an important growth market for the company, Retail Week magazine reported. Clarks executives could not be reached for comment.