Retail entrepreneurs drive start up borrowing in London

Retail entrepreneurs in the capital are borrowing more in start up loans than any other sector, accounting for 35% of seed finance lent during 2014 by Startup Direct, the founding partner of the Government’s Start Up Loans scheme.

Retailers have had a tough few years following the economic downturn with leading high street names struggling to win over consumers who have been watching their pennies amid concerns over inflation and job security. Retail entrepreneurs have not been deterred however, instead grabbing the opportunity to shake up the market and start their own retail business while interest rates are low and consumers are increasingly seeking alternatives online.

The rapidly changing retail landscape has provided vast opportunity for retail start ups to reach consumers without the overheads traditionally associated with such ventures. A total of £731.8m is now spent online each week in the UK, an increase of 10.1% compared with 2013 (ONS Retail Sales – Sept 2014), making it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to market and sell directly to their target customers and remain in control of the selling experience.

“Retail start ups clearly have a central role to play in growing the UK’s creative output”, said James Pattison, CEO of Startup Direct. “The online shopping revolution has come hand in hand with growing demand for unique, niche products and our entrepreneurs are grabbing the bull by the horns. London is a hotbed of creative ideas and it’s exciting to see these coming to life, driven by entrepreneurs with incredible belief and passion for their products.”
Startup Direct funded Chloe Hoole with her retail babywear brand Darlo (