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Council grant inspires Boo to double up

Young fashion indie Boo has opened a second store after strong sales in the first year of trading at its Mexborough store in South Yorkshire.

Boo, which sells niche women’s young fashion labels including Pink Kiss, Angeleye and Layers at its 1,500 sq ft store in Mexborough’s Montagu Arcade, opened its second store on February 20 in a 1,000 sq ft unit at The Imperial Buildings in Rotherham. It has a similar brand mix.

Boo owner Michelle Black, who opened the first store in December 2008, chose Rotherham after hearing about the local council’s Business Vitality Scheme, which was set up last year (Drapers, September 19 2009). Rotherham council awarded Black a grant to fund 50% of her rent in the first year of trading, and 25% in the second year. She has also received 75% of the store fit-out costs.

Black said: “I was initially looking in Doncaster but the rents are extortionate. When I heard about the scheme in Rotherham, I thought it was a great time to get involved. [The council has] big plans to bring more independents to the area.”

Black is now considering opening a menswear store at The Imperial Buildings.

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