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Aspire Style opens its biggest store yet

Womenswear and accessories indie mini-chain Aspire Style has opened its fourth and biggest shop to date in Solihull.

The retailer, which has stores in Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford stocking vintage-inspired young fashion brands such as Fever, Mina and Vintage Allure, opened the 1,000 sq ft site last month.

The Solihull store carries wider ranges of the young fashion brands stocked in Aspire Style’s other sites and will be used to trial new womenswear and accessories brands before they are rolled out to the other stores.

Aspire Style co-founder Emma Woodward said she and co-founder Samantha Yair chose to open in Solihull because they had spotted a gap in the market. “Solihull is a shopping destination but it is [dominated by] high street chains. It has hardly any independents and nothing like our offer of fashion, jewellery and gifts. The response has been brilliant so far,” she said.

Located on Mill Street, just off the Mell Square shopping centre, the store is in a more modern unit than its other stores. “It is a very different proposition but we have the same clean but feminine and pretty design, rather than that cluttered look that can be associated with vintage,” Woodward said.

The new store was funded by organic growth at the business and Woodward and Yair said they aimed to open an additional store every 18 months, building up to 10 by 2020. Bath, York and London are being eyed as potential locations.

Woodward said Aspire Style aimed to double sales from its website by this time next year, so it accounted for 20% of turnover.

She would not disclose figures but said trading over the summer had been “fantastic” thanks to demand for maxi dresses. Tailored pieces with cinched waists have been bestsellers for autumn 10, especially those by Fever, she added.

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