Middlesbrough-based premium independent Psyche is preparing to open a branch in Durham at the end of February.
The 4,000 sq ft store will be spread over three floors, two of which will be used for trading.
The shop will be located at 20-21 Silver Street in the city centre, in a unit that formerly housed two restaurants (pictured above). It has taken a year to get planning permission to convert the listed building.
Psyche owner Steve Cochrane told Drapers the new store would be a “departure” from its offer in Middlesbrough. “It will be much more trend led and premium,” he explained.
The Durham store will offer a wide selection of brands, including Albam, APC, Belstaff, Bleu de Paname, Kenzo, Folk, Nudie Jeans, Oliver Spencer, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Universal Works, Red Wing and YMC.
“We’ll also be trialling a lot of smaller, emerging brands,” added Cochrane. “It’s not all the obvious names. We’ve been looking for innovative brands with fantastic fabric, design, cuts – designed and made with conviction and passion.”
He said the team felt this offer would be well received in Durham, which has the fourth wealthiest student population in the country.
“[Sports Direct-owned premium mini-chain] Van Mildert used to be there and it was very successful, but there’s nothing like it there now.”
Cochrane, who first opened Psyche in Middlesbrough in 1982, has invested £450,000 into setting up the Durham store.
“I love bricks-and-mortar retailing,” he explained. “You’ve got to be omnichannel, but I don’t get the same sense of pleasure sitting looking at the website figures. I want that smell, touch, feel, passion and excitement you get when you walk into store.”
Psyche also has a store in Middlesbrough shopping centre The Cleveland Centre, which was rebranded from Style Lab to Psyche 2 in 2015.
It expanded its original Middlesbrough store in August 2016, adding another floor to accommodate its growing online department. Later that year, the unit won Best Store Design at the Drapers Independents Awards 2016.
In June of this year, Psyche launched its first own-label shirt range.