34 High Street, Leicester
Who you need to know
Owner Pete Turner (left)
This Leicester menswear indie has gone from strength to strength since its opening in 1988, thanks to owner Pete Turner’s inspiring approach to buying.
With a mix of vintage pieces, up-and-coming British designers and US skate labels, the store stocked brands such as Stüssy, Vans, Pointer and Undefeated before they hit the mainstream.
Originally based in a small store in Leicester’s Silver Arcade, Wellgosh relocated to larger premises in the city’s main shopping area when the arcade closed in 1998.
Two years later the business launched a transactional website, giving it a head start at a time when very few indies were online.
Turner encourages his staff to research new brands and to speak directly to the brand sales teams. “This has paid dividends in terms of giving shop staff a feeling of involvement in pushing the store forwards,” he says.
The biggest challenge, he reckons, is striking a balance between stocking an “interesting and inspiring mix of brands” and running a profitable business. He adds: “We’ve always worked hard at sourcing brands from unlikely places and don’t mind taking a risk now and again, both with labels and styles.”
With 21 years in the business, Turner has created an in-store experience that one voter says is “the streetwear equivalent to [Milanese super-indie] 10 Corso Como. Always exciting, ground-breaking and a pleasure to shop in. To get Porter, one of the coolest bag and accessory brands, to supply a shop in Leicester, when it has only a handful of outlets in the world, speaks volumes for the high regard in which this store and its owner are held.”