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Retail expansion

Scottish Design Exchange resumes search for outlets

The SDX now offers space to 300 artists and designers

A business showcasing work by Scottish artists and designers is resuming its planned expansion into the north of Scotland and the North American market.

The Scottish Design Exchange (SDX) has seen a surge in online sales but is keen to build its physical presence by opening more stores.

It moved last year from Ocean Terminal in Leith to a bigger outlet in Edinburgh’s fashionable George Street, formerly occupied by Laura Ashley. It also has a store in the Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow. Both will reopen on 26 April.

It put its search in Tayside and the Highlands on hold during lockdown but is now keen to build on the success of its outlets in the central belt.

Since its launch in 2015 SDX has earned its 300 tenant artists and designers £3.5 million and has proved particularly popular with ex-patriates, with overseas sales accounting for almost a third of revenues since the pandemic struck.

SDX founder Lynzi Leroy is keen to champion the physical stores which she sees as a showcase for the work of its occupants who pay a fixed fee to rent space rather than SDX taking commission on items sold.

During lockdown the business has been supported by £50,000 from the Scottish Government’s business resilience fund.

Ms Leroy, a former manager for Shell in Kazakhstan, said that in some sense lockdown has been “a blessing in disguise” as it forced the business to raise its profile overseas by expanding its online presence. She will be launching a marketing campaign in North America.

Thinking about a retail revolution

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