6:08pm Friday 28th February 2014
Exclusive By Lucy Richardson
IT claims to be the world’s biggest boutique but Psyche in Middlesbrough is soon to have a rival after announcing it is opening a second, even bigger, designer store in a UK city.
The location for the new shop, which will trade over 30,000 sq ft, is not being disclosed until the end of March, but will resemble its successful Linthorpe Road sister branch which opened more than 30 years ago and has a turnover of £5m.
Owner Steve Cochrane, who turns 55, this year, plans to unveil another five Psyches’ over the next ten years while giving away 30 per cent of profits to staff, said marketing manager, Paolo Capaldi.
It invested £60,000 in a new website last year after tripling its online sales and in 2013 ploughed £428,000 into interior transformations with 22 exclusive new in-store boutiques including Ralph Lauren and Barbour.
It attracts shoppers from Newcastle to York, competes with Harvey Nichols in Leeds, and claims it has attracted online sales from every country across the globe except North Korea.
“We have outgrown the store here but in our new store we will not lose the boutique feeling or the retail theatre which makes us stand out,” explained Mr Capaldi.
“The second Psyche opening in August or September will also have two floors of menswear and one shared by women’s and childrenswear as well as a seamstress for alternations and a restaurant," he added. "It is going to be bigger and better, we have got the finance and we have got a lot of clothing brand support,."
The aspirational store which took its first £1m in a month for December and employs 67 staff has stayed one step ahead of trendsetters since it opened over the three floors in the iconic Upton’s Building offering 4-D baby scans and an oyster bar.
It was the UK’s largest stockist of Hugo Boss and in 2011 was pipped to the title of the country's best department store at the Drapers Fashion Awards by Harrods.
“Lots of our competitors went bust during the recession but people are not so hesitant with their purchases now, 2012 was our best year in 30 years and 2013 was 30 per cent up on that so we think it is the right time to grow as we’re going from strength to strength,” he added.
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