Menswear brand Skopes eyes expansion with HSBC UK funding

Leeds-based menswear brand Skopes is looking to expand its high street presence following a 6 million pound funding package from bank HSBC UK.

The family-run retailer, which celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, plans to open 15 new stores across the UK over the next 2-3 years, which will join the retailer’s existing presence online, at multiple department store concessions and in stores within Westfield in London, Junction 32 and Meadowhall in Sheffield.

The funding will also enable the company to strengthen its import channels from China, Bangladesh and Europe, and target online marketing activity, such as digital and mobile advertising. Online sales account for around 20 percent of overall sales for Skopes.

The company said that its overall expansion plans are expected to increase turnover from 30 million pounds to around 60 to 70 million pounds over the next three to five years.

Simon Cope, owner and managing director of Skopes, said in a statement: “2018 was a big year for us. Seventy years after the business was founded by my grandfather, Sydney Cope, we completely re-branded and the energy this brought propelled our growth forward. While cultivating a strong digital following is key for us, we believe bricks and mortar stores still have a hugely relevant role in the retail landscape.

“We want to capitalise on this by rolling out 15 new stores nationwide. The HSBC UK funding will enable us to create stores that respond to consumer demand and trends which is imperative if we are to remain relevant and attractive to our ever-changing market.”

The expansion will create 200 new jobs, according to the brand, which will span retail, warehouse and office roles. The new hires will bring the business’ total workforce to over 500 and will represent the biggest growth phase the company has seen since its inception in 1948.

James Sawley, HSBC UK’s head of retail, added: “Skopes has proven itself as an agile, ambitious and extremely relevant brand in a consumer market that can often be challenging and unpredictable. Its approach to having a prominent online and high street presence is commendable and reassuring for other retailers. We’re confident that Skopes can deliver a unique shopping experience for thousands of people across the UK.”

Photo credit: Skopes at Westfield London, courtesy of the brand

 

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