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Steve Cochrane

owner and chief executive of indie department store Psyche in Middlesbrough

How is trade at the moment?

It’s been strong for us across the board. People were a bit cautious just ahead of the election but I think everyone was just feeling the need for change.

Which categories are doing best?

Menswear is just flying at the moment. Kidswear has been up and down over the past few months, but this season it’s up 11.5% on last year. I think that’s partly because a local kidswear indie closed down. Although that’s brought us more sales in the short term, I’d rather have the competition because it brings more footfall to the area.

Are there any other factors impacting footfall?

When I bought the building in 2002, Middlesbrough council said there were plans to pedestrianise the area and build a multi-storey car park, but neither has been done.

Have you made any changes in store?

We opened a corner for [Swedish lifestyle brand] J Lindeberg this month and that’s proving popular. We’re always looking for interesting new brands.

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