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05 Sarah Coggles

91-93 Low Petergate, York

Who you need to know

Owner Mark Bage (left)

Brands include Acne, APC, Bolongaro Trevor, Comme des Garçons, Elizabeth Lau, Folk, G-Star, McQ, PPQ, Religion

With the humble ambition of becoming York’s best fashion retailer when it opened in 1976, men’s and women’s contemporary independent Sarah Coggles now has its sights firmly set on global domination.

“Our customers range from Stockholm to Singapore and this now influences everything we do,” explains owner Mark Bage, who has scored a huge success with the store’s online arm, Coggles.com.

Success and a much wider reach due in part to the indie’s 200-plus brands, which vary from offbeat British labels PPQ and Bolongaro Trevor through to classics such as Paul Smith and D&G via more under-the-radar names including Designers Remix.

In January, Manchester Square Enterprises, a subsidiary of Pentland Group, made a multimillion-pound investment in Sarah Coggles in return for a minority stake. The cash will be used to finance the expansion of the indie’s retail concept and web business.Plans include the opening of a buying office and potentially a store in London.

“Sarah Coggles has an amazing brand mix, blending dynamic niche designers with cool commercial brands,” says Reece Crisp, assistant buyer, contemporary menswear brands at etailer Net-a-Porter’s Mr Porter and a fan of the store.

And, while many retailers were blind-sided by the recession, 2010 saw Sarah Coggles scoop both the Independent Retailer and Buying Team of the Year accolades at the Drapers Awards in November, largely due to Bage’s ability to keep innovating.

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