Alternative young fashion indie Pulp is hoping to secure £5m of investment to fund expansion into a 50-store chain within four years.
Six-store indie Pulp first opened in Nottingham in October 2008 and was set up by friends Ian Hopkins, Andrew Martin and Stewart Ebbins using private funds.
It has begun courting private equity firms and private individuals - the first time it has sought outside investment - and is aiming to seal a deal by the autumn.
Hopkins told Drapers: “It’s not just about money. It’s about finding the right partner who will bring something more such as expertise and experience. We already have a current plan to expand but we’ll use the money to more quickly expand the business and push harder.”
He said Pulp had performed well despite the downturn, because it filled a gap in the market, and had turned over about £2.5m in the past 12 months.
“We are taking an element of something underground and from the back streets and bringing it to the mainstream and doing it in a professional way,” Hopkins said.
The mini-chain sells music and popular culture-inspired fashion targeting the 15 to 29-year-old demographic, and stocks brands such as Iron Fist, David & Goliath and Criminal Damage.
It will open branches in Bristol on July 16 and Aberdeen on July 23, and has just signed a deal to open its ninth store, in Leeds. The Leeds store will include a cafe and a tattoo parlour to attract more shoppers.
If Pulp secures the investment, the cash would be used to rapidly launch an additional 40 stores and also to develop more own-branded products.
It would also use the funds to improve its marketing, especially its viral marketing, and to increase its presence on social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
The hunt for investment coincides with a revamp of Pulp’s website, www.thisispulp.com, which has been made more user-friendly.