The recession may be hitting the high street this Christmas but young entrepreneur Andrew Pallett has had shoppers flocking to his online underwear site.
First year Business Management student Andrew is amazed by the response to Urban Alpha, the men’s underwear retailer he launched in November, and already has the world’s number one brand on board.
Despite only being in the first year of his degree at MMU Cheshire Andrew certainly seems to have found a gap in the market: “My Christmas sales have been even better than I had expected, I’ve already sold out of several styles - they are flying out to be honest.”
Andrew (23) had the idea for the business in 2009 when trawling the internet for a stocking-filler for his brother: “he wanted a particular pair of boxers, I was searching all over the internet and I had about 20 tabs open.
“Then I literally had a eureka moment, I took a sip of my tea and thought I could do this better, so then that became my focus, I became totally obsessed with pants.”
Pants under where?
Andrew spent over a year doing market research and making contact with underwear brands before registering Urban Alpha as a limited company earlier this year. At the moment his house is full of stock because of the Christmas rush: “the bath is full of pants, my room is full of pants, in fact there is not a room in my house which doesn’t have pants in it.”
The 23 year old student didn’t let his lack of industry experience or the current economic climate daunt him. He used LinkedIn to identify Key figures in the industry and make contact with them. They have been so impressed with his initiative that he has managed to get top brands like Diesel and Calvin Klein, both companies who are fiercely protective of their brand, on board within his first few weeks of trading.
He is aiming for it to be the top rated website men go to for underwear and is passionate about being the best at what he does: “There are lots of places which do men’s underwear but none which only do men’s underwear – it seems to be an afterthought most of the time, and isn’t always done very well. It’s quite a niche market, but the response I have had and the market research I did has showed me that there definitely is a market of urban, young professional males looking for somewhere to buy their pants.”
Andrew also thinks that being a student has helped him get in the door of big brands and industry leaders: “people in the industry have been taking a lot of notice, some are even going as far as to offer me advice and help me out.”
Andrew is combining Urban Alpha with a part-time degree in Business Management and says the knowledge he is gaining on the course is helping him towards achieving his business objectives.
Andrew adds: “It’s so exciting seeing the response I have been getting, I am going to keep working hard, keep getting up at 5am, keep knocking on the doors of industry and get even more big brands on board.”
For more information go to http://www.urbanalpha.co.uk.
Manchester Metropolitan University is one of the most extensive higher education centres in Europe with 37,000 students and more than 1,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses. The University educates and trains large numbers of legal and business professionals, scientists, engineers, teachers, health workers and creative professionals.
Manchester Met has invested £350 million in its estate and facilities during a ten-year plan to create a truly world-class campus in the heart of Manchester and in Cheshire.
The University is in the top three nationally for environmental sustainability, in the top 3% of global universities as ranked by the Times Higher Education and has an 85% research impact rated world-leading and internationally excellent.
Added today: Former University Governor receives honorary degree Peter Budd named honorary Doctor of Engineering
Added today: Formula Student team race to top 10 UK finish Annual engineering competition at Silverstone
Added yesterday: Graduate author on Man Booker Prize longlist Wyl nominated for the UK's top literary prize
Added yesterday: "Real life" Prisma app to hit Manchester “Urban sketchers show the world, one drawing at a time”
Added 2 days ago: Lord-Lieutenant is "inspired" by graduates Queen's representative tells students to always push the limits
Follow @manmetuni on Twitter for the latest news from MMU.