25Ten Boutique's New Store Launch
Rochdale independent, 25Ten Boutique, has moved to a new large flagship store on Yorkshire Street in the town’s shopping district. MFN were invited to go up north to attend the celeb studded launch party and got to sample the store’s latest venture, menswear.
The new store is an impressive size and dominates its surroundings, just outside the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre. The glassed fascia sits on an angle with the road giving maximum opportunity for product visibility and the inside of the store to be seen by potential customers. A red carpet was rolled out and the party was well underway when MFN arrived.
Michelle Keegan from Coronation Street fame helped open the store, one of her regular fashion destinations, along with store owner: Kelly Turner-Mitchell.
The store’s ladies wear offer is as diverse and unique as usual, a general expectation that customers have come to expect from the Drapers Award 2010 Finalist. However, in a slightly smaller annexed corner of the floor resides the store’s latest venture, the menswear department. In keeping with the flashy, party wear theme that the store caters for, the menswear offer is formal to smart-casual shirts and trousers. The main label featured is Lambretta which offers a wide variety of shirts and smart-casual wear including thick, on trend, knits.
After sampling the bubbly MFN caught up with store owners Kelly and Paul Turner-Mitchell about their new store and menswear offer.
Manchester Fashion Network: Why did 25Ten Boutique seek to move from your original Cheetham Street location?
The Turner-Mitchells: Our initial location was a little off the beaten track and we were limited to being very much a destination shop. The store opened in 2007, but in spite of the tough economic climate that has dominated since then, sales continued to grow. We established ourselves as a key shopping destination for young fashion-conscious women in the Rochdale and Pennines area with sales up 29.90% year-on-year to the end of August. However, further potential growth would be very much restricted by the location and the relatively small floor space. The move has now allowed us to have a very prominent high street position, in a fantastic looking building whilst increasing our floor space significantly at an affordable cost given property market conditions. I am hopeful that the decision to expand will take 25 Ten to new heights, offering customers a chic and airy environment whilst also allowing us to move into menswear and increase the number of collections for both young and contemporary fashion for women.
MFN: What logistical problems, if any, were encountered during the move?
TM: Fortunately, any logistical problems were fairly minor. However such a move is certainly not an easy task. There are many ups and downs with plenty of headaches! For example, a new ceiling was required which we had not banked upon given damage sustained to the existing one whilst internal shutters were being fitted. This put our schedule back a week. British Telecom did not switch over our telephone lines etc on the day that they were meant to. These things, at the time, were frustrating but we are just so pleased with the end result it seems a distant memory now.
MFN: Does 25Ten hope to increase its product range now that the boutique offers more space?
TM: Definitely! We have bought into Project D - the fashion range by Dannii Minogue and Tabitha Somerset Webb of which there are only 20 or so stockists nationally. We have increased significantly the range of Vila Clothing which is going down really well with all ages and next year we are looking forward to taking on Sugarhill Boutique. We also have a lot of small up and coming designers whose collections are quite exclusive and limited in the pipeline. We also plan to expand the menswear department.
MFN: What market of male customer are 25Ten targeting and how are you aiming to do that?
TM: While Rochdale town centre has a number of shops offering young menswear, it's all fairly casual and we wanted to tap into a different demographic - men who are looking for something a little bit smarter and different. For example, in Claudio Lugli, the dress shirts are of exquisite design with great detailing. The result is a stunning collection of head turning shirts for either that special occasion or just a night out at a very affordable price. That was not available locally before.
MFN: Are there any male-client specific promotional activities planned and will the store re-brand the menswear department or will it remain under the 25Ten name?
TM: The name 25 Ten Boutique will remain as it was named after the birth date of our first child, Nicole, born 25th October 2005, and has now become a brand in its own right. Last year, we moved away from the inclusion of Ladies Designerwear in our identity simply to Boutique and the new menswear department will be known as Men@25Ten. We are working on a number of specific male orientated promotional activities for the New Year and MFN will be the first to know.
You can read more of this interview at Jordan's Personal Blog, here.
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