Monks Clothing is the newest business to join the every expanding village of West Malling. The new menswear brand felt shopping had lost its personal touch, online and on the high street and wanted to fight back to the claims of high street shopping extinction.
Owned by local 24 year old Amy Barker, the business was granted £8,000 by the Government’s Start-up Loans for Young People Scheme and has had continual support from the Lets do Business Group (administer the scheme on the Government’s behalf) and the Kent Foundation. Barker started the business plan in November 12 and dedicated three months to market research before submitting her plan in March 13 where she was immediately accepted onto the scheme.
Monks Clothing online store is currently operational and the shop scheduled to open in West Malling soon. The store stocks brands such as Religion Clothing and Pearly King Clothing with more premium brands to come over the next few months and is determined to offer a unique quality shopping experience to all its customers. Barker says ‘when you are buying unusual or expensive items online you don’t want an automated response, most people still want to speak to a real person and Monks Clothing is about putting those traditional values first, even online’.
‘Once the store is open customers can relish in that classic way of shopping on the high street with personised and friendly service, that isn’t about making the biggest sale but making sure the customers are happy, comfortable and enjoying the experience, so they become loyal advocates of the brand’
Monks Clothing intends to open more stores in other similar locations and would like to eventually launch their own brand of clothing. Barker says the whole process of setting up a business has been a fantastic experience and Chief Executive of Lets Do Business Group Graham Marley commented ‘I’m really excited about Monks…showing claims about the demise of town centre shopping are greatly exaggerated’.