Designer department store sees online sales soar

  DESIGNER department store Psyche has seen online sales soar as it continues to prosper while some of the country’s High Street heavyweights collapse.

Steve Cochrane, the entrepreneurial owner of the Middlesbrough-based store, is extending the floor space dedicated to running the website by 5,000 sq feet as he capitalises on the trend for shoppers to increasingly buy products online.

Sales on the retailer’s website,, have tripled over the past year and now account for half of the company’s turnover, compared with just ten per cent five years ago.

Steve has been helped with the growth of the company by business advisers and accountants Clive Owen & Co for more than 12 years. The team at Clive Owen has advised on issues from raising finance to buy their Linthorpe Road premises and corporation tax issues to strategic planning and payroll.

The multi-award winning store has come a long way since the days when it was two small boutiques selling men’s and women’s designer clothing 30 years ago.

Now housed in one, spectacular three floor building, Steve has spent £350,000 remodelling the store, which was recently named one of Vogue’s Best 100 Shops Outside of London. 

The top floor of Psyche is given over to the website with photography studios for displaying its products online, storage and packing areas, as it follows in the designer footsteps of online retailers such as net-a-porter.

Steve said: “There’s far more growth potential online than there is in bricks and mortar at present and we’re responding to those shopping habits by increasing our presence online.

“Clive Owen has helped Pysche with strategic business development which has allowed the company to prosper and grow in tough economic conditions.

“Their proactive approach has helped introduce systems and routines to facilitate the realisation of the Psyche business plan.”

Chris Beaumont, a partner at Clive Owen, said: “We’re very proud to have worked with Steve and the team at Psyche for more than 12 years and we congratulate him on his 30 years in business.

“We’ve particularly enjoyed supporting Steve’s aspirations and his entrepreneurial vision which has been instrumental in the success of the company. 

“The recent growth of the online business is again testament to his energy and ability to respond to the changes within the retail business.  Our focus has been to provide fundamental and structured financial support to Steve’s ideas.  We look forward to more exciting years ahead.”

Pic cap: Psyche owner Steve Cochrane, left, with Chris Beaumont, a partner at Clive Owen & Co LLP

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