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New owners to give Monkey a makeover nownership

Young fashion independent Monkey has been bought by two former customers who plan to give the store an overhaul and new website.

The three-floor shop in Wakefield town centre in West Yorkshire will be refurbished after it was bought by new owners Bruce McLean and Richard McAspurn earlier this month.
The pair, who run a marketing and entertainment company, were customers of the store when former owner Richard Gunn decided to sell the shop to concentrate on his other business interests.

McLean said the shop, which sells men’s and women’s brands including G-Star, Diesel, Replay, Scotch & Soda, Religion and Lipsy, still has lots of potential.

“It’s a great store and well known, with a great location and strong brands,” he said. “I was a customer and Richard just wanted a change of lifestyle and offered us the shop. We’ve spent the past seven months doing our homework.

“The store needed a bit of tender loving care, and we’ve cleaned it up and painted it and we are planning new in-store concepts and marketing initiatives. We will bring it into the 21st century.”

McLean said he was also in discussions with new brands to supply the business. “I want to get some newer, smaller labels in the store and put a little bit more distance between us and the multiples.”

The business is also launching a transactional website next month to capitalise on the growing trend to buy fashion online.

“We’re not quite there yet but the team is really energised,” said MacLean. “We’re going to have a ‘Fashionista’ night at a local club. We’ll brand the event Monkey and put on catwalk shows of featured brands. It will be a great way to add to the database too.”

“There is a lot of doom and gloom in the news but people are still spending. You’ve just got to work hard and get out there and give shoppers something different. We’ve taken on the baton and now we want to take Monkey to the next level.”

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