Womenswear indie Minnies of The Only Way Is Essex fame is to open a second shop next year in northeast England – with possibly another two sites to follow.
The family-run business owned by TOWIE stars Sam and Billie Faiers plans to set up a second Minnies “probably in the Newcastle area”.
Spokeswoman for the shop Sam Webb, who is the Faiers sisters’ aunt, said: “We have a huge amount of customers from up north who travel to the Brentwood boutique. They come almost as a pilgrimage.”
Last week the shop was forced to postpone the launch of its transactional website for one week after technical problems and issues the owners had with the look of the site.
TOWIE fans eager to get their hands on Minnies’ stock were disappointed – visitors clocked up to 46,000 hits an hour on the launch day but were greeted by a holding page.
Design issues the Minnie’s team were unhappy with – which included web banners – were due to be worked out in time for the site to go live by the end of this week.
Webb said: “Once we get the site off the ground we can concentrate on expanding the boutique. Our first priority is to get into the Northeast, then into the Southwest.”
The new shops will be a “mirror image” of the Brentwood boutique, stocking the same brands and recreating the decor of the original shop.
“That’s what our customers would want,” Webb said. “We will open three or four boutiques in total – that and the internet site would be enough.”
Minnies opened in Brentwood, Essex, in April and enjoyed immediate success as a result of the popular ITV reality series.
Webb said: “We are a small operation that has had to grow at a fast pace. We get customers visiting from every corner of the UK and Ireland – even from Australia.”
However, visitors to the new store are unlikely to meet their TOWIE icons, unlike at the Brentwood store.
Webb said: “Sam and Billy are involved in every aspect of the business, so when they’re not filming they are working alongside the rest of us in the [Brentwood] boutique.”
Minnies sells brands including Little Mistress and House of Deréon.