Fashion website Atterley.com has launched a £ 500,000 crowdfunding campaign as it signals a 200% sales increase during the lockdown.
The Edinburgh-based business run by Blackcircles.com founder Mike Welch provides a platform for more than 250 independent boutiques selling around 2,800 brands.
Fundraising on Crowdcube aims to develop its technology and increase its presence abroad, including in the United States. The company is also in talks with venture capitalists.
President Welch said: “The world of retail will change forever after Covid-19 and retailers will be forced to adapt to rapidly changing consumer buying trends.
“Our investment plan is to ensure that Atterley and our partner stores are long term winners as the market evolves. Market conditions will increasingly suit industry players like Atterley and we can seeing a situation where there is less competition when the current shakedown stabilizes. “
Welch, who sold the discount tire website Blackcircles to Michelin for $ 100 million in 2014, founded Atterley in 2016.
He said that while the retail giants are left with massive amounts of inventory they can’t sell, his nimble business model involves smaller operators ordering smaller quantities as demand increases. .
He added: “The beauty of our business model is that instead of operating out of warehouses with inventory inventory, our partner stores provide inventory to Atterley and can operate with one person in each store, ensuring thus a continuous and safe trade while their doors remain closed to the public.
“We are seeing customer growth at the expense of the public wanting to support local shops during the pandemic and we have also seen a marked increase in shops wanting to join the platform since the lockdown. “
Sarah Murray, owner of a designer boutique Jane davidson in Edinburgh, said: “During the UK foreclosure, Atterley provides an additional sales channel that gives shops like mine welcome stability. I also love the sense of community, being part of a collective with other independent retailers in the UK and around the world.