A COMPANY which began life in Weymouth has secured £2.5million worth of funding to support its store expansion programme and growth plans.

tReds, the fashion and branded footwear retailer, opened its first outlet in Weymouth in 1996.

It has secured the funding package and is looking to increase its store network from 33 to 40 during 2014.

tReds was founded in 1996 by current managing director and owner Stephen Kavanagh, a former prison officer, who spotted the potential for the business due to the absence of a fashion footwear retailer in Weymouth. He said: “We believe there is plenty of scope to expand the store network in 2014 and beyond. We are no longer tied by the constraints of our own distribution, so that means we can look at locations that were never previously possible.

“The finance from HSBC underpins our expansion plans and gives us a solid foundation for growth.”

The company caters for men, women and children and mixes brands such as Converse, UGG, Nike and Fly London.

tReds focuses on smaller towns and cities which aren’t saturated by fashion footwear retailers and is scouting potential locations for next year.

The business forecasts the planned expansion will help increase turnover from £15million to approximately £20- million a year, whilst employee numbers are expected to grow from 260 to 340. Responsibility for stock distribution was handed over to Royal Mail Relay Specialised Services to provide daily deliveries to stores rather than its own in-house distribution.

This has enabled the company to look at locations which would have previously stretched its network. It is also looking to drive online sales, with further investment in its website.

HSBC senior international commercial manager Fiona Piper said: “tReds’ strategy is clearly working and it is growing like-for-like sales in a market that has experienced challenging times.”