My Week: Robby Sur of Yukka

The fashion entrepreneur on marketing strategy, his new non-exec, and arranging outfits for Diversity...

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Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

Yukka will celebrate its 6th birthday later this year and we religiously stick to our daily routines. A typical morning usually starts with me catching up with Yukka's perfomance metrics for the previous day: visitor numbers, conversion levels, marketing promotions, possible fraud risks, and so on. I'll also be talking with our warehousing and support staff to take note of any issues. Anything that's below par will be actioned with immediate effect. This week, with all the bad weather, we've been trying to capitalise on the fact that customers will be spending longer on their PCs - by making sure that we've got some attractive promotions running, to drive sales of both new and existing products.

I'm very much hands-on with everything we do. The key to our business is to maintain a fresh and on-trend catalogue of items for our net-savvy and trend-setting customer base - and with over 60+ brands on our roster, I've been in regular buying meetings throughout the week. We're looking to scale the business, to make it more commercially viable, so I've also been meeting with distribution companies to place orders for some new brands that we want to launch on Yukka later this year (sadly they'll have to remain a secret until then!).

My offices are based just on the outskirts of London, so I usually spend one day a week hot-desking in the city while staggering my weekly meets. As we grow Yukka, and establish a firmer footing for Zen & Fuka, our own-brand fashion line (which is now one of our top five brands by sales) we spend a lot of time talking to new and existing partners, including regular meetings with my marketing guys. We have a preference for online marketing at the moment, because it's easier to measure ROI; but as we grow, we may look to push more into offline. As time goes by, I'll also be looking to recruit new staff and outsource some work to third party-talent with proven experience, in order to drive the business forward. For instance, we've just hired a new company to manage our Affiliate Marketing presence - it's the same people that played a key role at ASOS early on its development.

Speaking of Zen & Fuka, this week I've been arranging a collection of garments for Diversity, the dance group from Britain's Got Talent - it's a good opportunity for us to get some product recognition. And we've been planning our next winter collection from the brand - this will be our largest to date, and will be showcased at various tradeshows both here and in Europe. Co-ordinating a clothing collection is a laborious task, and most of my time in the last few days has been spent on the phone to suppliers, driving down the cost of our garments produced overseas.

This week Yukka also appointed Alistair Gosling from the Extreme Group as a non-executive director. I've known Al for a while - he's a great entrepreneur with tons of experience, and we're on exactly the same wavelength. Recently he's been acting as my mentor, helping me push the business forward. We meet up once a week to discuss business progress and bounce ideas off one another, before settling on a focused agenda that we trim and tick off as time goes by. I have lots of energy, and want to do everything at a million miles at hour - so I think it's a good idea to have some support around me. I'm convinced Al will be great - and when you're running an independent business, you need to trust your instincts! The potential of the online retail market is there for all to see; we just want to be in a position to ride the next wave.
  

Robby Sur is the 26-year-old MD and founder of Yukka Group, the UK’s leading online urban fashion retailer. Its two online stores, Yukka.co.uk and YukkaDeluxe.com, had over 2m visitors last year, and retail more than 2,500 products from over 60 exclusive designer hip-hop and urban fashion brands, including Adidas Originals, RocaWear, Ecko, G-Unit, and its in-house label Zen & Fuka.

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