Young fashion label Fly53 is to open its first shop as part of a three-year, 26-store roll out programme as the brand expands rapidly into retail.

The label, which at present has a transactional website but no own-brand bricks and mortar presence, is to open the first 10 stores within the next 12 months using investment it secured in June from Key Capital Partners.

It is targeting cities with large student populations, such as Leeds, Bristol and Cardiff, where it aims to secure sites on high streets dominated by multiples.

Fly53 has 290 stockists in the UK, including House of Fraser, where it has concessions in seven of stores.

The brand was still finalising deals as Retail Week went to press and would not disclose the precise target sites but founder and creative director Will Rigg said he expected its first store to be between 14,000 and 16,000 sq ft.

Rigg said: “There are some interesting deals on the table because so many businesses are closing.

As a brand we also have a much bigger margin so we are able to [pay higher rates than independents] to get onto prime sites.

“We offer something unique in a market where younger consumers are always looking for something a bit different. It is the right opportunity for the brand to grow. We have reached that point where we have to raise visibility.”

Venture capitalist Key Capital Partners paid £3.6m for a 35% stake in Fly53 in March 2009 and added a further £1m in June this year. The money is being used to develop its wholesale business, increase marketing and develop the brand’s transactional website, as well as to roll out the retail operation. The company, which was founded in Worcester in 1994, is understood to turn over about £15m and has generated a year-on-year 30% uplift in sales of its autumn 10 range.