Plus-size womenswear retailer Yours Clothing will expand into Scotland and Ireland next year, as it looks to open up to 25 stores across the UK.
The Peterborough-based business opened 25 stores this year, taking its total in England and Wales to more than 70, with the latest opening at 33 Bridge Street in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, on November 3.
Resh Dorka, marketing director at Yours Clothing, told Drapers this was just the start. “We are looking to expand into areas where we’re not represented in the UK, so this includes Scotland and Ireland, where we currently have no stores, as well as new opportunities on the South coast, in the Southwest, the Northwest and inner London,” he said. Specific locations under consideration include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Carlisle, the Midlands and Liverpool.
“We plan to have around 120 to 130 stores in the next two and a half years,” he added.
The firm was founded by entrepreneur Andrew Killingsworth in the 1980s and remains privately owned. Turnover was £32.1m for the year ended February 2, 2014, compared with £27m during the same period last year. Pre-tax profit was £2.3m in 2014, up from £1.8m in 2013.
Barclays has loaned Yours Clothing £1.75m to support its expansion.
“We have been growing steadily, but it has gathered a lot of momentum over the last couple of years,” said Dorka. “We started in smaller towns but now we have stores in prime retail locations like Bluewater and in Birmingham’s Bullring [both of which opened this year].”
He said the company’s online business was founded in 2007 and now accounts for 40% of sales. The site ships to 220 countries and international expansion is another major focus, which currently accounts for 20% of the online business.
Yours Clothing has five stores in the Middle East with its partner Landmark in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Sharjah. It will open two more in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain before the end of the year and has an additional eight planned for 2015.
“We would look to open stores in other regions through a partner who knows the local market,” said Dorka.
“Our proposition is based on genuine plus-size clothing, designed and fitted on plus-size models, offering on-trend clothing at the best value. Vests start at £8, dresses are between £20 to £25 and coats £40 to £80, so if you wanted to compare us to someone you could see us as the New Look of the plus-size market.”