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Men’s and kids’ sales surge after Psyche rejig

Indie department store Psyche in Middlesbrough has seen its men’s tailoring sales increase 14% and kidswear sales rise by 43.8% since a major revamp at the retailer in May.

The refit came after a customer survey found that women disliked having to walk through the men’s tailoring department to reach womenswear upstairs. The womenswear department is now on the ground floor, as is a new 1,800sq ft kidswear department. Psyche has also increased its men’s tailoring offer fourfold.

Womenswear sales are down 13% as a result of its department being scaled down when it was relocated. Bridalwear has also been axed.

Managing director Steve Cochrane said: “It’s a complete change of direction. We now have six departments, including the website, each of which has to pay
for itself.”

He added: “Kidswear has boomed because we’ve created a dedicated department rather than a small area within womenswear, and because we’ve moved it downstairs where shoppers with buggies can access it easily.”

The refit is ongoing, with the men’s fashion department next in line for expansion in late July. Psyche is also building shop-in-shops for men’s shirt brand Eton and Remus Uomo in the tailoring department and has also just taken on Paul Smith and Armani Collezioni. The store is sourcing new brands for spring 10, which Cochrane said would include another strong casual brand, “either Hackett or Gant”.

He added: “Womenswear is much more risky than men’s tailoring - people always need suits. We remain committed to selling womenswear but we’re doing better in our young fashion department than in 30-plus at the moment.”

Psyche partnered with Cleveland College of Art & Design to run its customer survey as part of the fashion students’ course work, giving prizes to the students who surveyed the most shoppers.

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