Alnwick shop named as finalist in awards

Yvonne Dixon and Lisa Aynsley at Hotspur 1364, in Alnwick.
Yvonne Dixon and Lisa Aynsley at Hotspur 1364, in Alnwick.

A top national award is in sight for a recently-launched Alnwick menswear shop after making the final 10 in the Best New Business category.

Hotspur 1364, which opened in August last year, has been shortlisted in the Drapers Independents Awards, described as the Oscars of the retail world.

The high-end boutique for men is hoping to walk away with the prize.

Lisa Aynsley, former events manager for Northeast Press, turned her attention to the Narrowgate-based store and it is paying dividends.

She is delighted that the shop could win its first award after only being in business for less than a year.

Lisa said: “We were not only nominated, we’ve made finalist, which is huge. I think we’re the only one in Northumberland and the nearest one is Gosforth, but the bulk of the nominees are London-based.

“The awards attract some phenomenal names like Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker and Stuarts of London, so just to be aligned at that level is just absolutely fantastic.”

Hotspur 1364 prides itself on the fact it gives a traditional and tailored experience for men.

Lisa said: “I think we’ve got a unique niche in that we do the whole service here for the guys.

“Downstairs we have the old school barber shop and Hotspur 1364 has been branded to be a destination, not a shop.

“You can come in and we’ll style you from head to foot. It’s old-school values, one-to-one customer service.

“You can have your hair cut, beard trimmed, you can have a manicure or a spray tan even.

“I think that’s the kind of thing that’s setting us apart from the others.

“We price match all the brands so local people know that they are no more expensive than in Newcastle and the tourists just love the vibe.”

The business has also been taking the shop out of Alnwick, promoting it around the county.

Lisa said: “We do a lot of pop-up boutiques, a lot of catwalks and also, we’re showcasing one local designer every season.

“So we’ve had a girl from Whitley Bay a guy from Cramlington and so on.

“I think the Drapers team liked the fact that we were a little bit quirky and we’re looking at the young talent and giving it a platform.”

The results will be announced in September in London.