Atterley, the online fashion marketplace, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support its expansion plans after seeing sales surge by over 200% during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The company, founded in 2016 by online tires entrepreneur Mike Welch, has revealed sales have grown at an impressive rate against the same period in 2019 as store closures have meant shoppers moved to online retail.
“The beauty of our business model is that instead of operating out of warehouses with stockpiles, our boutique partners provide Atterley with stock and can operate with just one person in each store ensuring safe continuous trading while their doors remain closed to the public,” Welch said in a statement.
“We're seeing customer growth on the back of the public wanting to support local boutiques during the pandemic and we've also seen a marked upswing in boutiques wanting to join the platform since the lockdown took hold.”
Atterley has now 2,800 brands live on the site and has partnered with over 250 independent boutiques. This number is set to increase further now that the online retailer has launched a Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign to raise £500,000. In addition to seeking the further development of its marketplace technology, the business is targeting an expansion in overseas regions, including the US.
The company said it is also “actively engaged” in discussions with venture capital investments.
Mike Welch, who bought Atterley following its collapse in 2016, expects the retail world to change forever post Covid-19.
“Our investment plan is focused on ensuring that Atterley and our partner boutiques are long-term winners as the market evolves. Market conditions are going to increasingly suit industry players like Atterley and we can see a situation where there is less competition when the current shakedown stabilizes,” he said.
The marketplace for independent fashion retailers has already raised 64% of its campaign target.