Busby & Fox

Opened at 142 High Street, Marlborough

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about busby & fox

Busby & Fox is a women’s fashion and lifestyle brand, selling a beautiful collection of clothing and homewares. It currently trades from six stores in Devon, Cornwall and the South of England. Due to the success of these existing stores, the brand decided it wanted to use its profits to launch another physical store.

busby & fox's challenge

Busby & Fox had previously focused on opening stores in the areas the founders knew well, these were mostly in the South West. Once the first store opened, the next four became increasingly easy. They could benchmark sales figures of their existing stores and apply similar numbers to any new stores in comparable towns in the region. But the brand felt they had covered the towns that worked for them in the area and wanted to branch further afield. This meant stepping out of their comfort zone and into unchartered territory. Where was the best location to open next? Where else was there a high density of Busby and Fox customers? This is where Hatch came in.

what we did for busby & fox

Busby and Fox confirmed the profile of its typical customer.  We then produced a list of 5 target locations checking each contained a high density of potential Busby & Fox customers, using the Hatch Location Insight tool. We compared the demographics for these new towns and checked they were similar in makeup to that of the towns they currently traded in. We then set up property alerts in each one and helped Busby & Fox notify local agents of their property requirements.

The property search quickly identified a suitable option in Marlborough, Wiltshire. Cath Kidston had unfortunately gone into administration and had to close several of its existing stores, 142 High Street, Marlborough being one of them. We connected Busby & Fox with the landlord and they met for a viewing. The shop ticked all the right boxes in terms of location, pitch and configuration.

Busby and Fox then used our Affordability Checker to run the numbers and make sure the turnover achievable would lead to a healthy profit.

To assess profitability, all upfront and ongoing property costs need to be factored in. Not just rent, rates, insurance and service charge but also capital expenses like legal and professional fees and fit out costs, which we provided benchmarks for. The inputs were then built out into a cash flow equal to the lease term showing an early break even point and increasing profitability as the lease went on.

Hatch gave guidance on the offer and negotiation process and Busby & Fox were able to secure the property on very competitive lease terms. Now all that was left was to find a solicitor and using the Hatch Community Hub, Busby & Fox connected with a suitable and affordable solicitor to agree the lease on its behalf.

the results

Busby & Fox opened in December 2021 in time for the weeks leading up to Christmas and it was particularly well received by the local population. In the 6 months that followed, Busby & Fox traded well above its original targets. Customer engagement with locals was strong and most evident was the uplift in online sales in the area. Busby and Fox reused a lot of Cath Kidston’s furniture, fixtures and fittings meaning it made huge savings on conventional fit out items which meant that by the end of the first year of the lease they had accounted for the upfront costs and turned a profit.
“Hatch has been central to our store expansion and in turn the growth of our business.”
Kate Lynas
Busby and Fox