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Echo Business: LEWIS'S IN SCOTS BUYOUT.

Byline: By NEIL HODGSON

LIVERPOOL department store Lewis's is on the acquisition trail again after buying Aberdeen-based store Esslemont & Macintosh.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, expands the Lewis's portfolio to four stores after the purchase earlier this year of two similar outlets, Robbs of Hexham and Joplings in Sunderland.

Lewis's owner David Thompson said the latest deal in Aberdeen gives the business better scale and fits his strategy of developing a chain of family-owned department stores.

"This gives us more buying muscle, increases our economies of scale and gives us more ideas," said Mr Thompson. "The trouble with running one department store with central costs is it will never make money, so you need other stores to make a profit after central costs."

Esslemont & Macintosh is one of only two department stores in Aberdeen, the other being a John Lewis outlet, and employs 90 staff.

Mr Thompson added: "All these stores are like Lewis's, which has been trading for 150 years. They are local names that have been trading a long time.

"Joplings has been in business for 200 years, Robbs for 150 years and Esslemont for 130 years," he said
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 26, 2005
Words:192
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