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Record sales for Kent-base start up

Kent retail start up kicks off 2017 after record year in 2016

  • Generated an 8 per cent increase in revenue for December compared to December 2015, exceeding its targets for the Christmas period
  • Sales increased by 15 per cent on Black Friday, compared to the same period the previous year
  • The clothing business was selected as a standout success story by the government-backed Start Up Loans Company at Houses of Parliament ceremony in June 2016

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Luxury clothing boutique Monks & Co enters the New Year on a record high after exceeding its sales targets in 2016.

Monks & Co, based in West Malling, sells premium clothing brands from its Swan Street store, as well as from its website, which accounts for an additional 10 per cent of its sales.

The business achieved a 15 per cent increase in sales on Black Friday, compared to the same period the previous year. Discounts were offered throughout the weekend, giving shoppers a three-day sale, which saw Monks & Co. smash its targets. It also had a record Christmas period, generating an 8 per cent increase in revenue compared to December 2015, thanks to its Black Friday weekender and pre-Christmas sales.

In line with the growth of the business, Monks & Co has appointed a new fashion stylist to offer its customers bespoke advice when trying to find a new look.

Amy Barker, founder of Monks and Co

The business was launched in 2013 after Amy Barker decided to put her 5 years of experience in the fashion world to good use, and start her own venture. She approached The Start Up Loans Company, and secured a £8,000 loan to invest in stock and develop the website. After representing the government-backed Start Up Loans Company as an Ambassador at the Houses of Parliament last June, the business has gone from strength to strength.

Looking ahead, founder of Monks & Co., Amy Barker, plans to build the business’ online presence so it has an equal split of revenue between in-store and online sales.

Amy Barker, co-founder of Monks & Co Clothing, said:

“Retail sales always spike from the end of November to the end of the year, but this year was even more successful than we could have imagined. It was a record year, and we’ll be entering 2017 in a great position to grow the business. We are looking forward to see what’s in store for the year to come.


As a growing retail business, we hope to strengthen our presence in the Kent area, and possibly open another store if the business continues to do well. We’ve come so far in such a short space of time. My advice to any budding start up business owner would be to remember there is support out there to help them succeed and drive their dreams into a reality.”

Tim Sawyer, CEO of Start Up Loans Company, said:

“Monks & Co. is a great example of how businesses can utilise seasonal peaks, such as Black Friday and Christmas, to drive revenue. I’m sure the business will continue thriving within the retail market over the years to come.


Although starting out alone may seem daunting, potential business owners should be reassured that there are multiple support networks to help make your start up goal a reality. With the right support and guidance, anyone sitting on a great business idea can turn it into a profitable business.”