ENTREPRENEUR Mike Welch has revealed he is lining up further investment in online fashion business Atterley following a big increase in sales over Christmas.

The boutique marketplace, which sells clothes from independent fashion retailers, saw turnover surge by 151 per cent to nearly £6 million in the 10 weeks ending January 5, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Atterley, which is majority owned by Mr Welch through his Full Circle Partners investment vehicle, said increasing customer visits, improving conversion rates and a rising average order value contributed to the increase. It served customers in 77 countries over the period.

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Atterley highlighted the strength of its performance in the US market, where it said revenues were up 302 per cent on average order values of nearly $240.

Mr Welch, who founded online tyre firm Blackcircles and went on to sell it to Michelin for £50m in 2015, said fresh investment is on the way for Atterley to drive its continuing growth.

Noting plans to attract outside investors and put in further cash himself, he remains convinced of the potential to float the company in the long term. However, he said the businesses need to grow in scale, especially in the US, before progressing the move.

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Mr Welch said: “When I originally envisaged a network of the best independent boutique partners, I knew we were on to something, but I did not fully appreciate just how quickly customers would react to the Atterley.com business model.

“We have had a fabulous few years from inception to establishing consistently strong growth with market leading levels of satisfaction.”

He added: “The marketplace model has many benefits, one of them is the ability to scale and roll out quickly. To that end we have plans to step up investment in growth and we have been facilitating discussions with prospective investment partners to join our family, I expect us to have some exciting news to share soon.”

Atterley chief executive Kenny Baillie said: “A strong finish to the year was delivered by increasing the number of boutique partners and improving merchandising and on-site search functionality. Customers were looking for something different from the usual high street or big retailer offerings and our boutique partners buying teams have a real flair for delivering that difference.”

He added: “Our aim in 2020 is to continue to grow and to constantly improve everything we do to drive more income for our boutiques and to give customers the best options and customer service that we can.”