Casual Male Retail Group Inc on Thursday said it plans to speed up the closure of Levi's and Dockers Outlet stores and transfer the operations of its remaining Candie's outlet stores to Candie's Inc.

The company said in a news release the move is part of its ongoing strategy to concentrate on its core Casual Male Big and Tall stores.

The firm said it expects to take a fourth quarter charge of $27 million to $30m and will axe up to 55 Levi's and Dockers stores over the next two years with the remaining 30 stores closed when their leases run out or divested.

President and CEO, David Levin, commented: "We remain pleased with the progress of our Casual Male business and continue to identify opportunities to grow the top line and increase market share.

"Our decision to exit the Levi's/Dockers outlet business and the Candie's outlet business will enable us to focus our attention on, and utilise our resources for, expanding CMRG's profitable core Casual Male Big and Tall business."

The group was formed after Designs Inc bought 472 Casual Male big and tall stores out of Chapter 11 for $170 million in 2001. It has since axed around 100 Levi's Outlets by Designs and Dockers Outlets by Designs stores as it concentrates on the stronger Big and Tall franchise.