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Sales success prompts Aphrodite’s expansion

Men’s young fashion indie Aphrodite is to dramatically increase the size of its Sunderland store following continued growth of both its in-store and online sales.

The expansion marks a £1m investment for the indie, which has drafted in retail design consultancy Andy Barlow Interiors to manage the project. The relaunch, which is scheduled for May, will see the store grow from 2,000 sq ft to 3,000 sq ft of sales space over the ground and first floors. There will also be a new office on the second floor to house the expanding online business.

Managing director Andrew McKenzie said: “We launched our website 18 months ago and it now accounts for about 20% of our business. We need space to style and photograph the product so we are taking over the second floor to create an office and photographic studio.”

Aphrodite, which was a finalist in this week’s Drapers Etail Awards 2010, is trading well with sales for January up about 15% on last year. McKenzie put the business’s success down to the strength of its brand mix. Current bestsellers include

Lyle & Scott, Y-3 and Hugo Boss. McKenzie said he was looking for six new brands for autumn 10 to fill the additional retail space.

Aphrodite has been trading since 1994 and has expanded steadily since then. In 2002, McKenzie purchased the adjacent property and knocked the wall through to create the current 2,000 sq ft store.

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