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Holt Renfrew & Co. Ltd. will end its partnership with Montreal-based Browns Shoes in 2007 as it moves to operate its own footwear boutiques at its stores. Caryn Lerner, who became president of Holt Renfrew last September, said it will launch its own shoe operations at all nine of the luxury retailer's stores across Canada. Since the early 1990s, Holt Renfrew Shoes has been a leased business, operated by Browns Shoes. "This is a logical extension of the way we have developed our women's ready-to-wear, men's, cosmetics and accessories divisions over the last five years and is in sync with the expectations of our customers, our board and our chairman," Ms. Lerner said. The change is planned for completion by February, 2007. "We want to control our own destiny in the shoe business," she said, adding that Holt's wants to give its customers "a world-class luxury shoe offering, including a broader and deeper merchandise selection of the most sought after brands worldwide."

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