David Charlton’s first business, Fiori, which sold designer clothes, went into receivership in 1992. The Officers Club, his second venture, has targeted the other end of the market. In a decade, Charlton has turned one shop in Newcastle upon Tyne into chain of 180 shops. It claims to sell clothes that are similar to those in other high-street stores but are 70% cheaper. The Northumberland company has grown sales 73% a year from £15.8m in 1998 to £81.6m in 2001, when it had 1,678 staff.
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