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Retailer on track

Welch seeking new funding for online retailer Atterley

Mike Welch

Mike Welch: scaling up (pic: Terry Murden)

Online fashion retailer, set up by tyres tycoon Michael Welch, is preparing for another funding round after reporting it is on track for another surge in sales.

Mr Welch said the site was quickly scaling up from its launch three years ago and after receiving a significant investment last October.

It secured a multi-million dollar investment from PDS Multinational Group, a global design house and clothing manufacturer.

Mr Welch commented: “A series A funding round is our next step now that we are confident we have established a solid base to scale profitable sales from. I’d anticipate early stage discussions with VC’s and strategic investors as early as November this year.”

The Edinburgh-based company, which now ships to more than 100 countries, will report sales up by of 150% in 2019, having recorded a doubling of sales last year. Non-EU sales now account for more than 30% of revenue. Atterley recently added its 200th boutique and has about 1.300 brands live on the site.

Last year’s funding round followed an explosion of activity in the online fashion sector in 2018, including Farfetch’s $8 billion IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Atterley: worldwide reach

With a similar model to Farfetch, the Atterley site enables independent fashion boutiques and brands to list and sell their inventories (both womenswear and menswear). 

The site promotes items for boutique owners, manages customer acquisition and customer care, and last year launched image search AI technology that allows online shoppers to search for items by uploading photos.  Atterley has also continued to add more sustainable brands this year in response to customer demand.   

While the majority of the boutiques on the Atterley site are UK-based, the team has on-boarded a string of European independents, is engaging with boutiques across Europe and is set to continue its international expansion over the next twelve months.

Mr Welch, who set up, the online tyre retail business in 2003 and sold it to Michelin in 2014, said: “We’re excited to see Atterley start to scale, underpinned by a hard-working team who remain focused on keeping the boutiques and our UK and international customers front and centre of everything we do. 

“It’s gratifying to see that reflected in both sales growth and how highly we are rated for customer experience.  Of course, our successes to date are underpinned by our network of boutiques and we’d like to thank them for their continued support.” 

Atterley recently appointed James Eccleshall as Head of Operations.  Eccleshall was hired from where he previously headed up international, operations and customer.  Kenny Baillie, Atterley CEO, said: “James understands faced by the independent boutiques, how to drive sales and it’s great to have him on board.”

Debra McCann, owner of The Mercantile in London, said: “We have what I would describe as a proper partnership with Atterley where nothing is a problem, a solution is always found and you are working together on a common goal.  I have upmost respect for what they are doing and how they are achieving the best results all round.”

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