Ex-Asda boss backs new fashion chain plans

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ANDY Bond, the former chief executive of Asda, is joining forces with a number of experienced retailers to launch a discount fashion chain.

Mr Bond, who spent 16 years at Leeds-based Asda, is one of the senior figures behind the new children’s and ladieswear group.

The new chain will represent the first British investment by Pepkor UK, a vehicle backed by Mr Bond and Pepkor chairman Christo Wiese, the South African billionaire.

Based in Cape Town, Pepkor is a South African investment company with retail interests in Africa, Australia and Eastern Europe.

In a statement, Pepkor said: “Pepkor UK can confirm today’s media speculation that it intends to launch a new chain of UK challenger fashion stores that will give shoppers on a budget remarkable value.

“The stores will start at scale and adapt at pace, with the launch expected in the summer of 2015, focused on autumn and winter ranges.

“Pepkor UK was established to manage corporate activity in the UK and support the Pepkor group in making strategic acquisitions and investments in growing segments of the UK retail market.”

Mr Wiese also backs Reward, the Leeds-based finance lender, which is stepping in to take advantage of the banking sector’s reluctance to lend.