Made-to-order footwear brand Upper Street is planning to open its first bricks-and-mortar store in central London following a £750,000 investment.
Upper Street has secured a £500,000 investment from Venrex Investment Management and a further £250,000 from the British Business Bank’s Aspire Fund.
The online business, which enables customers to design their own shoes, is hunting for a location in Marylebone, London to launch its first “experience store” where shoppers can view the design options available and create their own shoes with the help of in-house style advisers.
Upper Street founder Julia Grinham told Drapers the property would be a “destination point” for the luxury label’s clients.
“We want to create a brand experience in a comfortable boutique environment, where shoppers can relax with a cup of tea or glass of fizz and browse the swatches while the style advisers can help them choose their design,” she said.
The store is expected to open in the autumn.
The Upper Street website, which launched four years ago, will also be overhauled, making it mobile-responsive and extending the range of shoe shapes, materials and colours to include more “exciting and contemporary” styles.
Grinham said the cash injection will push the brand into the mainstream market.
“We expect the business to increase tenfold over the next three years. The investment is the first step in building Upper Street into a global brand,” she said.