Adams Childrenswear is to significantly increase its footwear offer in a deal that expands the existing trading partnership with Start-Rite. Adams is to acquire the 11 existing Start-Rite concessions within Adams stores and will initially extend this offer to a total of 24 stores by August 2001.

By combining the existing strengths of the Adams own bought range of shoes with the strengths of the Start-rite brand, Adams plans to create a fully serviced shoe department for children. The ranges will be further extended to accommodate other appropriate shoe brands to ensure a comprehensive offer is available.

The success of the Start-Rite brand within Adams has given the necessary confidence to extend the offer to more stores and when appropriate develop into other channels of distribution.

Michael Hobbs, chief executive of Adams Childrenswear said: "This is a major opportunity for Adams to develop an authoritative range of children's footwear. To be able to offer credible brands, like Start-Rite, with the service associated with fitted shoes, will allow us to compete in this important sector of our market place. With over 70 million customer visits to our stores each year we have a tremendous opportunity to become a major shoe retailer."