Canada's largest retailer of casual unisex apparel, accessories and foot wear for the 25-60-year-old age group, Mark's Work Wearhouse, has confirmed it is to press ahead with expansion plans.

Despite the economic slowdown, the firm plans to open more than a dozen new stores specialising in business casual attire, weekend wear and work wear for men and women, which will take its total to 166 outlets across the country.

The firm opened its fifth Ottawa store earlier this week and over the next two months another four shops are scheduled to open in Ontario, and two more in Quebec, under the name L'Equipeur.

Mark's Work Wearhouse president and chief operating officer, Paul Wilson, said: "Over the past few years we have invested more than $25 million in new stores and we will continue with our aggressive expansion plan to open stores in new markets at prime locations ensuring that our customers get the best value and service that we can provide.

"Our strategy of delivering a unique shopping environment that offers quality, affordable clothing for men and women to wear to work continues to do extremely well for us even during the tough times that our industry currently faces."

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