Psyche branded clothing store in Teesside to close its doors to buyers for good

Teesside Psyche’s designer clothing store has confirmed it will be shutting down for good.

The famous Linthorpe Road store, which has won multiple retail awards in nearly 40 years of operation, will be renamed as a branch of the designer clothing chain Flannels.

Billionaire Mike Ashley took over the flagship store from Psyche founder Steve Cochrane last December as part of a buyout deal and it is now owned by his retail group Frasers, which also owns Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Flannels and other major retail brands.

The store is expected to close on August 9, when a rebranding will begin with a proposed opening in September.

It will become Flannels and continue to sell designer clothes for adults. The current Flannels store in Middlesbrough town center, on the site of the former BHS, will remain open and sell children’s clothing.

The name Psyche is an institution in Teesside.

Steve Cochrane founded the brand which had smaller stores on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough before moving to the old Uptons building.

Steve, who continues to work for the Frasers Group as head of children’s clothing, said it would be an emotional moment when the Psyche signs collapsed for good.

“It will be emotional when that happens,” Steve told TeessideLive.

“It’s me, I am.

“But I sold it to them in good faith and I have to support them and the decision. It’s more profitable for them that the store becomes a Flannel.”

Following the buyout, which was confirmed last December, Steve the deal would secure the future of the store, its online operations and its 58 employees by becoming part of the large retail group.

No jobs will be lost when it turns into flannel, he said.

“I opened Psyche 39 years ago, we won all the awards including UK Retailer of the Year,” Steve said.

“The website will continue.

“I sold it to Mike Ashley at the end of December and it’s true, they decided to make a Flannel out of it.”

Steve Cochrane at Psyché

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Since opening its doors to fashionistas in Teesside all those years ago, Psyche has become famous across the country – and the world. It sells some of the world’s most prestigious fashion brands, including Moschino, Paul Smith, Versace and others, and has hosted many visits from retail professionals over the years, including Princess Anne at the helm of British Fashion. Council.

Steve opened his first store – called Sliced ​​Tomatoes after a Northern Soul record – in Redcar in 1982, giving the North East his first alternative clothing store.

The opening of Psyche followed closely behind in 1984, and in 1995 it won the UK Designer Retailer of the Year award outside Selfridges on Oxford Street.

Steve, who received an MBE in 2018, was first approached three years ago but turned down an offer before being contacted again last year by Mike Ashley.

Throughout its history, Psyche has been recognized with a plethora of awards, including FHM Magazine’s Retailer of the Year, GQ Magazine’s Best Menswear Store, and Harrods’ Second Prize in the Department Store. of the year.

It was also crowned the winner of the Drapers Best Store in the UK and was recognized by The Times as the 35th best online shopping site in the world.

The company also had an outlet in Durham while Psyche 2 at the Cleveland Center in Middlesbrough closed in March 2020 after more than five years in business.

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