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Freedom eyes third store after record trading year

Northern Ireland young fashion independent Freedom Clothing is on the hunt for a third store, following a record year of trading.

After nine years in business, profits at the Drapers Award nominee rose by 20% last year. The business is also relaunching its website at the end of the month in a bid to sustain the momentum.

The retailer already has two stores, one on Bridge Street in Portadown, and a second on Molesworth Street in Cookstown which opened last June. Now owner Kyle Salt is on the hunt for a third unit in the town of Dungannon.

He said: “Our Portadown store has had its best year ever and now we are considering Dungannon to roll out.”

Freedom set up its website last summer, and the site beat its sales target by 20% in its first six months of trading. It is being upgraded at the end of this month to offer new elements such as a merchandising system that rotates product each time a user logs on.

Salt is in the process of recruiting an extra member of staff to handle the administration and development of the online offer.

Freedom’s rise in profits has been attributed to the website and a change in buying strategy, said Salt. He added that he no longer bought basic product from his branded suppliers, which helped to differentiate his offer from high street rivals.

“We have been fussier about buying. Product has to be fashionable, directional and different for people to spend money,” he said. Freedom stocks men’s and women’s young fashion brands including G-Star, Diesel, Energie and Gas.

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