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Strathberry abandons flagship store as attention turns to online and export

LUXURY accessories brand Strathberry of Scotland is closing its flagship retail store after just six months to focus on online and export sales.

LIFE OF LUXURY: The firm makes tweed and leather goods, using extra-light tweed is woven in Peebles, with prices ranging from £155 to £4350.

However Strathberry, which makes tweed and leather goods including wallets, tablet computer covers, scarves and bags, also wants to grow the network of bricks and mortar retailers it sells into.

But managing director Guy Hundleby, co-founder of the business along with creative director Clare Robertson, confirmed its own site in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh will close immediately.

He said it had provided a "great launch pad" for the brand but it was not part of the longer term vision particularly as the first few months of trading showed around 70% of customers were from North America while China has also been growing strongly.

Now Strathberry will move its operations and all its staff to a showroom location in the Scottish capital which will primarily be set up for retail buyers although it will still accommodate private appointments with individual customers.

The company said the showroom will be up and running in weeks rather than months.

It will also have pop-up shops around the UK at certain times of year with the Edinburgh festivals season one option being considered.

Mr Hundleby said the business would also be investing in its online shop as well as adding additional international sales staff in the coming months.

He said: "Strathberry of Scotland will now move away from bricks and mortar self-retail, which was never intended to be the long term focus.

"Our focus is heavily on raising profile and rolling out the brand by building on our existing retail partners, particularly in Scotland, London, China and North America."

The decision to close the retail premises comes after high interest was shown in the brand at the Pitti Uomo menswear trade show in Florence, Italy, earlier this month.

Current stockists of Strathberry include Harvey Nichols, Skibo Castle, online retailer countryattire.com and the Chinese retail company Estate.

Prices for its products start at £155 and go to £4350 for a tweed golf bag.

Its general use bags, which cost around £400, are said to take at least 12 hours to make.

The tweed used by Strathberry is said to be lighter than many other tweeds, and is woven at a mill in Peebles.

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