Venus & Mars parent seeks funds for shops

Industry consultancy The Retail Practice is looking for a£2 million cash injection to roll out its fledgling gift chain.

Opened last summer at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, the first Venus & Mars shop was created as a 'laboratory', where retailers could see ideas in action. The objective is also for it to be a profitable retail business by this autumn, and there is potential for at least 20 shops.

The Retail Practice founder and former Jaeger chief executive Rebecca Cotterell said: 'There's no point in having just one shop. We're going to start looking for funding shortly.

We need about£2 million for the next stage of the roll out.' She said the company plans to open four to five Venus & Mars shops in middle-class market towns next year. A transactional Web site will be launched next week.

The first store received funding of£350,000 from Barclays and The Retail Practice.