Independent retailers have expressed “shock and disappointment” over the sudden closure of indie ecommerce portal Miinto.
The etail platform shut down with only a day’s notice on March 27, leaving many of the 180 boutiques that used the service with one fewer revenue stream and nothing to replace it.
One mainstream womenswear indie retailer said: “My biggest concern now is that independents can’t compete online anymore without the help of a large umbrella organisation like Miinto. There are other sites doing a similar thing but they are much smaller. Indies don’t have the budget or the man power to do what Miinto could.”
Pippa Sandison, owner of contemporary womenswear indie Boudoir Femme in Cambridge, said: “We do have our own website as well but we saw it [Miinto] as an add on to our business and we will lose out on the sales we forecast through that channel.”
She added: “They seemed to be growing quite quickly so I am surprised that they are pulling out so soon. They had a great team here in the UK and so it is a shame they couldn’t make it work here.”
The owner of another young fashion womenswear indie described the move as “a huge shock”.
“Miinto wasn’t a huge percentage of our sales but it was still a percentage that we won’t get anymore,” she said.
Janine O’Keefe owner of contemporary womenswear indie OKeefe in Surrey added: “The main reason went with Miinto in the first place was because we don’t have the budget to pay for search engine optimisation. We were prepared to lose 20% on the sales in order to increase our turnover over all.
“I thought they were really going places and it is as though it has been closed down before it really had a chance to shine.”
Miinto will to operate in four other territories Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands – and still plans to launch in Spain later this year. The decision to shut down its UK operation came after the platform failed to secure further venture capitalist funding, with group chief executive Morten Larsen noting that the UK was a particularly competitive market.
He said Miinto will meet its financial commitments to all boutiques that have fulfilled orders, and consumers will be able to return goods for up to 14 days.