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Handbag Clinic secures £750k investment and appoints new Chairman

Tom Bottomley
29 September 2021

Handbag Clinic has secured £750k investment to drive growth and has appointed former Claire’s Accessories CEO Beatrice LaFon as Chairman.

Further strengthening the board of directors, Founder of WhoCanFixMyCar, Ian Griffiths, has been appointed as Digital Strategy Consultant.

Having specialised in leather restoration for over 16 years, Handbag Clinic is one of the longest established luxury restoration and resale services in the UK, restoring around 700 bags each month and reselling around 300.

As a unique business model and one-stop-shop for sustainable luxury, it buys, restores, authenticates and sells the world’s most coveted handbags, from the likes of Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Dior, Gucci and Fendi.

The capital will enable Handbag Clinic, which is based in Burnopfield, Country Durham, to drive its ambitious growth plans, streamlining systems and infrastructure investment in new technology, brand building and recruitment of personnel, including in senior management roles.

As part of its investment in new technology, Handbag Clinic is working with Durham University to adapt facial recognition technology to authenticate handbags and assess their condition and value.

With a global clientele, Handbag Clinic operates two UK stores, at 382 King’s Road in London and 12 Queens Arcade in Leeds, an ecommerce platform, in-store concessions in Fenwick Newcastle and Colchester and franchises in Europe and the Middle East.

During the first lockdown (Q2 2020), the company experienced a record 500% growth in online sales and an overall 306% year-on-year growth.

Since incorporating resale into its offering with the opening of its flagship store on the King’s Road in Chelsea in 2015, the company grew sales by 500% in the following 18 months and has since been “at the vanguard of the seismic consumer shift towards conscious consumption”.

Handbag Clinic Co-Founder and CEO, Charlotte Staerck, said: “Despite the challenging trading conditions within the pandemic, we’ve enjoyed consistent growth and record online sales. We are excited to welcome both Beatrice and Ian onto the Board – their unrivalled knowledge and expertise will add huge value. They share our vision and, together with the new investment, can help us to realise our aggressive growth plans, taking Handbag Clinic to the next level.”

Fashion and retail veteran Beatrice LaFon brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in the global retail industry. LaFon’s illustrious 40-year career includes working with Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, River Island, TJ Hughes and Claire’s Accessories.

Ian Griffiths founded pioneering car repair comparison website WhoCanFixMyCar in 2011, connecting thousands of garages, mobile mechanics and dealerships with over 3.2 million car owners to date.

The £750k investment in Handbag Clinic was raised through the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia.

Earlier this year, featured Charlotte Staerck on the In Detail podcast.

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