Q&A: Wellgosh founder Peter Turner on opening a new store in Nottingham
Last month saw the opening of a new Wellgosh store in Nottingham, its first outside of its native Leicester location, and notably a first since the retailer was acquired by JD Sports in January 2021.
Peter Turner, who founded Wellgosh 30 years ago, is still driving the business, albeit now with the weight of JD Sports behind him. He explains why they decided to expand to another city and why Nottingham was ripe for the taking.
Why have you decided to open a second Wellgosh store now?
As we emerge from the aftermath of the pandemic, there are a lot of bricks and mortar opportunities opening up in major cities as a lot stores have been forced to close down. We feel that Wellgosh and its premium brand mix massively benefits from a localised physical presence that provides a focus for our customer base.
Why is Nottingham an attractive destination to be in?
Nottingham obviously has a great clothing heritage and a big reputation for some iconic clothes shops down the years. With a big student population, and its close proximity to Leicester, we felt that the time was right to make the move and branch out. The gap is obviously there in terms of the city lacking a high profile elevated sneaker and streetwear retailer, so here we are, smack bang in the centre on Clumber Street. The location is great, it’s rumoured to be one of the busiest streets in Europe footfall wise. Nearby stores include Tag Heuer, JD and Zara, along with a raft of interesting independents in the area, so we’re looking forward to some busy days.
Did you already have a solid customer base in Nottingham from online sales?
Wellgosh has always made a lot of online sales to customers in Nottingham, probably due to its proximity to Leicester. Also, a lot of Nottingham folk do come and visit our Leicester store, so we are known in the city and throughout the Midlands really. I think the momentum that we already have will help us further build our profile in the Midlands and make the new store a great success.
What size is the new store and what key brands is it carrying?
At 3,500 sq ft the store is even bigger than our Leicester store and gives us the opportunity to properly showcase our collections. Key brands include Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Stüssy, Carhartt, Arc’teryx, The North Face and Patagonia. The extra space gives us the chance to let each brand have space to breathe and tell its own story against the backdrop of the store’s industrial architecture. We have echoed the raw look and feel of the Leicester store while at the same time improving on layout and presentation.
Are there plans for more Wellgosh stores?
We’ll see how it goes from here. We are ambitious as a business and have got the opportunity now to grow and develop. We take things one step at a time, and Nottingham is the next piece in the jigsaw.