British lingerie brand Bluebella is crowdfunding £500,000 to fund expansion into the US.
bluebella tigerlily in alba2
The brand raised almost half of the total funds, £217,180, through the equity crowd-funding platform Crowdcube in the first seven days after launching last week.
The firm, which has annual sales of £2.6m, is using the funds to invest in its website and expand in new markets, particularly the US, where it launched into department store Nordstrom, and underwear and swimwear retailer Bare Necessities for autumn 16.
“The US is a really important market for us,” Emily Bendell, chief executive of Bluebella, told Drapers.
“We have great sales there organically [the US currently makes up 20% of total online sales] mainly driven by social, but we need a big marketing budget to really push our presence there. There’s great potential for us there. We launched a US-specific website last month and the reaction has been great so far.”
Bluebella launched into Nordstrom and Bare Necessities in the US this autumn
Bendell said the Brexit vote has not dampened her customers’ confidence and US president-elect Donald Trump could be good news for UK businesses in the US:
“He is pro-business and, if taxes are lowered in the US, there’s sure to be an increase in consumer spend. There’s an opportunity there,” she said.
Bluebella is sold in more than 25 countries and its ecommerce sales have grown by 130% in the last year.
Its UK stockists include House of Fraser, Asos, Figleaves, Fenwick and Urban Outfitters. International stockists include Zalando, Yoox, de Bijenkorf, Namshi, Kaufhof and Lamoda.