Leeds-based menswear retailer Skopes plans to create 200 jobs as it opens 15 stores

The Leeds-based menswear retailer, Skopes, plans to create around 200 jobs as it expand its national high street presence, after gaining a £6 million funding package from HSBC UK.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 4:40 pm
Skopes' store at Westfield in London

The menswear brand, which celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, plans to open 15 stores across the UK over the next two to three years.

These will complement the retailer’s “extensive” online offering, its multiple department store concessions and existing stores within Westfield in London, Junction 32 and Meadowhall in Sheffield.

A spokesman said: “This rapid expansion will support the creation of 200 new jobs, across retail, warehouse and office roles - the biggest growth phase the company has seen since its inception in 1948. “

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Following the expansion, the total workforce of the business will exceed 500.

The £6 million funding package from HSBC UK will enable the family-run business to strengthen its import channels from China, Bangladesh and Europe.

Overall, expansion plans are expected to increase turnover from £30 million to around £60 million to £70 million over the next three to five years.

Skopes will also ring fence a proportion of the funding for targeted online marketing activity, such as digital and mobile advertising. While new stores are expected to generate growth, online sales still account for around 20 per cent of overall sales for Skopes, so a strong digital presence is key, the spokesman said

Simon Cope, owner and managing director of Skopes, said: “2018 was a big year for us.

“Seventy years after the business was founded by my grandfather, Sydney Cope, we completely re-branded and the energy this brought propelled our growth forward.

“While cultivating a strong digital following is key for us, we believe bricks and mortar stores still have a hugely relevant role in the retail landscape.

“We want to capitalise on this by rolling out 15 new stores nationwide.

“The HSBC UK funding will enable us to create stores that respond to consumer demand and trends which is imperative if we are to remain relevant and attractive to our ever-changing market.”

James Sawley, HSBC UK’s Head of Retail, explained: “Skopes has proven itself as an agile, ambitious and extremely relevant brand in a consumer market that can often be challenging and unpredictable.

“Its approach to having a prominent online and high street presence is commendable and reassuring for other retailers.

“ We’re confident that Skopes can deliver a unique shopping experience for thousands of people across the UK.”

Helen Phillips, the relationship Director for HSBC UK, North and West Yorkshire, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting a fantastic Yorkshire business in such a large stage of development.

“The opening of more UK stores shows the ambition of Skopes to further establish itself as a recognised household name.

“It’s an exciting chapter for the business and we’re fully equipped to support Skopes in realising its growth potential.”

This deal has been funded as part of HSBC UK’s £14 billion SME fund, with £1.05 billion dedicated to helping Yorkshire businesses realise their ambitions for growth.

HSBC UK serves 14.5 million customers across the UK, and employs around 32,000 staff. It offers a range of retail banking and wealth management services.