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Blue Inc raises £4m to drive online and Twisted Soul development

Blue Inc has raised £4m in funding to grow its market share online and drive the growth of its Twisted Soul brand.

The menswear and boyswear retailer has raised the majority of the funding through the Unicorn Venture Capital Trust, with the remainder from existing shareholders.

Blue Inc chief executive Steven Cohen told Drapers: “I am delighted to have secured the funding to support our ongoing growth. Next year, we will focus on these two initiatives and we are considering an initial public offering in 2016.”

The British retailer scrapped its flotation plans in June this year amid fears investor appetite for IPOs had dwindled.

It has grown from 28 stores in 2006 to 240 stores in the UK and five overseas under two retail fascias: Blue Inc and Officers Club.

Cohen said: “This investment is less about physical growth where we will focus on consolidation and investment in our existing estate, and more about supercharging our growth online. Online is approaching 5% of the business so there is significant opportunity to grow.”

The retailer will launch an online marketing campaign in early 2015 and streamline its fulfilment processes. Click-and-collect now accounts for 20% of online sales.

The funding will also be used to push the wholesale development of the Twisted Soul brand, which is stocked at Boohoo.com and Asos.com.

“We are targeting further growth overseas and through retailers in the UK,” said Cohen, who confirmed they would be looking to target bricks-and-mortar retailers and etailers with the brand.

Blue Inc appointed Just Consultancies to ramp up its wholesale presence in August.

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