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Atterley sets sights on overseas expansion

Online fashion marketplace Atterley has signed up 60 more boutiques globally, and has set out plans to ramp up its US business by the end of the year.

Owner Mike Welch told Drapers that Atterley is on a recruitment drive as part of plans to extend its reach to 10 countries, including locations in south-east Asia.

This involves forming partnerships with boutiques in each country, as well as recruiting people on the ground to source partnership opportunities. Atterley currently partners with boutiques in the UK, US, Germany and Italy, and ships to 98 countries.

It has roughly 100 boutiques on board, including Edinburgh independent Jane Davidson and Chelsea-based Donna Ida.

As part of this drive, Atterley is doubling its board membership from three to six executive and non-executive directors in the next eight weeks.

Welch would not disclose their identities but said the new roles will include representation from Asia.

The business also plans to recruit around 20 people across different areas including merchandising, bringing total headcount to 28.

Welch said: “By focusing on business development and expanding our board, we are bringing in people with experience in fashion as well as ecommerce to build our following and develop a differentiated offering.

“It’s about finding the right people in the right territories. We’ll be making a big push on this, on figuring out who to employ and then deploy to convert sales locally.”

Welch said the US is the “fastest-growing market” for the ecommerce platform since the start of the year.

He said: “We spent a fair bit of time looking at our distribution levels in the US over the past 12 months. In the past month alone, 25% of business came from the US. We plan to make headway in the States by the end of the year.”

He also refused to rule out the “potential return” of Atterley’s own brand.

Welch bought the intellectual property assets of womenswear etailer Atterley roughly a month after it went into administration on 5 January 2016.

The business has listed more than 600 brands to date, representing a “good mix of premium and budget labels”.

Welch said: “We are not going after huge labels, but more niche and independent brands that sell well and travel well internationally.”

In March the online retail platform hired chief operating officer Kenny Baillie, who was previously managing director at Scottish womenswear label Ness clothing.

Atterley has more than 125,000 registered users.

 

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