Edinburgh-based online clothing retailer Atterley.com launches six-figure crowdfunder

Online fashion marketplace Atterley.com has launched a six-figure crowdfunding bid to help fund its expansion after seeing a huge sales increase during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Welch’s business interests span tyres and clothing – or 'treads and threads'. Picture: Stewart Attwood.

The Edinburgh-based business, which is driven by tyre entrepreneur Mike Welch, today pushed the button on the Crowdcube campaign, targeting a minimum £500,000 to support the further development of its marketplace technology for boutiques and grow its presence in overseas regions including the US. Atterley is also actively engaged in venture capital investment discussions.

The move comes after the tech firm has experienced a sales increase of more than 200 per cent during the Covid-19 lockdown against the same period in 2019. Atterley enables independent fashion boutiques and brands to list and sell their inventories. It is used by in excess of 250 such firms to reach customers worldwide, and has around 2,800 brands live on the site.

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Mike Welch's Atterley.com cuts a dash with sales figures and funding drive
Mike Welch and Sarah Murray, owner of the Jane Davidson boutique. Picture: Jane Barlow.

Chairman Welch added: “The retail world will change forever post-Covid-19, and retailers will be forced to adapt to fast-changing consumer buying trends. Our investment plan is focused on ensuring that Atterley and our partner boutiques are long-term winners as the market evolves.”

He also said: “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 stabilises.

“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.


“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.”

Sarah Murray, owner of designer boutique Jane Davidson in Edinburgh, said: “During the current UK lockdown, Atterley provides an additional sales channel which provides boutiques like mine with welcome stability. I also like the sense of community, being part of a collective with other independent retailers in the UK and worldwide.”

Atterley said that according to the Statista Fashion eCommerce report 2020, fashion is the largest business-to-consumer e-commerce market segment, with its global size estimated at $620.6 billion (£500bn) in 2019.

Serial entrepreneur Welch in 2016 acquired Atterley’s intellectual property assets from administrators at KPMG, seeing the chance “to deliver an innovative and exciting new proposition”.

The firm in 2018 secured a multi-million-dollar investment from PDS Multinational Group, a ­global design house and clothing manufacturer.In August of last year, it said it was on track for sales growth of 150 per cent in 2019, having recorded a 100 per cent gain the previous year.

Welch sold online tyre retailer Blackcircles.com to Michelin in 2015 in a multi-million-pound deal, and he has launched Tirescanner.com, an online tyre retail site aimed at the US market.

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