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Boticca seeks pop-up space and considers permanent store

Online marketplace Boticca is in talks to secure its first pop-up store and is looking at establishing at least one permanent shop in the longer term.  

The pop-up is likely to be in London, with Covent Garden high on the list, according to Boticca’s founder and chief executive Kiyan Foroughi. The store, which he hopes to open by May, will stock a mix of jewellery, bags and other accessories, all accompanied by the story of how they were made – the site’s unique selling point.

A second pop-up may follow in the run-up to Christmas, while a permanent London store could be on the cards in 2016, with more to follow in cities such as New York and Paris at a later date.

“I’m attracted by the value you can drive with a hybrid business, although I don’t think we would turn into a chain. The bulk [of what we do] is still going to be online,” explained Foroughi.

UK-based Boticca launched in 2009 and stocks products for women by designers and brands from all over the world, such as Australian bag brand Mary + Marie and French accessories brand Antagoniste, with an average order value of £120. It takes a commission of 40% to 45% depending on whether the product is exclusive to the site.

The business is on track to be profitable in early 2016, Foroughi said. He declined to provide sales figures but said turnover was “in the millions”. Sales over Christmas were up 33% year on year.

It is backed by London-based MMC Ventures, Paris-based entrepreneur fund ISAI and angel investors such as John Ayton and Annoushka Ducas, founders of Links of London. Foroughi hopes to attract further funding by the end of this year.

He is also looking at adding watches, smaller home accessories and beauty products to the mix, with the ultimate aim of turning Boticca into a lifestyle marketplace.

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