Sarah Murray, owner of Edinburgh womenswear boutique Jane Davidson, has joined Atterley as an adviser as it prepares to relaunch as an ecommerce platform for independent retailers in July.
Mike Welch and Sarah Murray of Atterley
The platform aims to offer an “inclusive, low-cost international marketplace for boutiques”. It will ship to 22 countries in its first phase.
It will use the intellectual property (IP) assets of womenswear etailer Atterley, which went into administration on January 5.
Michael Welch, founder of online tyre retailer Blackcircles.com, bought the IP assets through his investment vehicle, The Welch Group, in February.
Blackcircles, which was sold to Michelin for £50m in May 2015, operates as an ecommerce platform for independent garages. Welch hopes to replicate the formula for fashion.
He told Drapers: “By assembling a network under the Atterley brand, we can create economies of scale in product range, marketing and distribution costs that makes online very viable for our boutique partners, many of whom have previously found it challenging to operate online.
“Sarah Murray brings what I’d describe as ‘the conscience of the boutique’ to Atterley.com thinking and decision-making, ensuring we always stay true to the founding vision of supporting the independents first and foremost.”
Murray added: “Boutiques like ours face increasing challenges from bigger players on the high street and online. We think Atterley.com can help to turn the tables. With refreshingly low commission rates, cutting-edge technology, and its clear mission to champion the independents and democratise the marketplace we’re extremely pleased to have become a founding partner.”
The new site will use Atterley’s existing consumer database of around 250,000 registered users, more than 10,000 Instagram followers and around 25,000 followers on Facebook.
Atterley – then known as Atterley Road – was founded by former Jigsaw jerseywear designer and buyer Katie Starmer-Smith and her business partner, Edward David, in 2012 as an online retailer focusing on the urban 30-plus female consumer. It sold brands such as Vero Moda and French Connection, as well as its own label.
In June last year, it changed its name to Atterley, expanded its own-label range and relaunched the website. It went into administration in January this year after it failed to raise enough funding to continue. All 17 employees were made redundant.