Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Rags to Bitches shuts shop to focus on web

Manchester womenswear indie Rags to Bitches has closed its bricks-and-mortar store and is planning to develop its online business and relocate to southern England.

Rags to Bitches, which sells a mix of vintage clothes and its eponymous own label, was located on Tib Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, but trade dropped off when former neighbour Oi Polloi, the menswear indie, relocated to Thomas Street in January.

“We used to get a lot of girlfriends dropping in while their boys were at Oi Polloi,” Rags to Bitches owner Simon Buckley told Drapers.

Rags to Bitches’ Tib Street premises cost £40,000 to rent and run and the business needed to turn over about £70,000 just to break even, he added. It turned over £80,000 in the 12 months to April 2010, down from £120,000 the previous financial year. Buckley decided to pull the plug on the store and instead redesign the Rags to Bitches website.

Sales of new clothing and footwear as opposed to vintage stock currently account for about 25% of Rags to Bitches’ turnover but Buckley plans to grow this to between 60% and 70% by reducing vintage stock and taking on third-party British brands.

“In the 1990s people would spend £15 on a pair of socks just because they said Gucci,” he said. “Now people show you what they bought for 50p from Primark. I think the next six months will see more emphasis on cost per wear and clothes that last.”

Buckley is considering renaming the business, although he would retain the Rags to Bitches moniker for the own label. He is also looking to relocate the store to Bath or London for spring 11. “Southern England seems to be more economically buoyant and the people more receptive to ideas like ours,” he said.

The store also offers dressmaking classes and hen party packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.