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FORUS adjust investment and plans to open 25 to 30 stores

Retailer will spend around US $ 9 million in new stores in 2015.

In September 2014, Forus had opened 45 stores in nine months. The figure is higher than the 40 they had planned for the whole year, and much higher than its historical average. However, that fact would not repeat itself, at least in the medium term.

In his last presentation to investors, the company, controlled by the Swett family- showed its future plans. The plan is to open 25 to 30 new stores in 2015. High industry sources indicated that these rates are in line with historical openings the company had in 2014. They added that the economic slowdown and the consequent uncertainty regarding 2015 have made the group adjust its openings, especially considering that there is no certainty about the consumption behavior.

In this line, Hush Puppies and Azaleia plans to invest about $ 9 million, as it did before, not around US $ 12 million spent in 2014.

Beyond this, the firm does not leave aside Chile. Today, the company has operations in addition to our country, in Colombia, Peru and Uruguay. And although they are cautious, the focus will be centered in all markets where they operate. In fact, in September, the only nation to have a drop in sales reported in same store sale, is Peru, with a contraction of 8.1%. In Chile, a 3.5% increase is evident. Is that, according to the group assured analysts, their business is more defensive than the industry average. This, as it does not have the risk of having a credit incorporated area, in addition to have market products that tend to show the better performance of the business, such as clothing and footwear. In November, these two items have risen well above the average, according to the National Chamber of Commerce. While the sector has grown only 1.4%, the subsectors of clothes and shoes have risen more than 7%. In that sense, the market state that Forus will focus on enhancing both business areas alike.

Defensive

The group told analysts to be more defensive than other firms in the sector. This, among other things, not to be at risk in the credit area, as other companies have.

Forus opened 45 new stores to September 2014. Of these, 22 have been in Chile; 9 in Peru; seven Colombia and the same number in Uruguay.

Forus currently manages 32 brands, which are distributed in 19 categories.

$ 171,046,000 sold the firm in September 2014, 18.9% more than in the same period of 2013.

El Mercurio, Economía y Negocios