Julian Dunkerton was 19-years-old when he dropped out of further education to see the world.

On his return, in 1985, he believed he saw a gap in the market for a fashion clothing retail outlet.

He worked as a fruit picker and on the factory floor, borrowed cash from his family and set about renting a condemned shop for pennies.

The store, Cult Clothing, became a chain, with many of its stores based in university and college towns.

Within 20 years he decided to stock his own clothes, partnering with the man who’d created the Bench label.

In 2004 they launched Superdry, a brand which has now become ubiquitous and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2010.

The company today has more than 2,200 employees and boasts a turnover of £431m.

The label is sold around the world and Superdry’s parent company SuperGroup plc has acquired some of its distributors in European territories and forged various partnerships in others.

Key achievements
  • Floating on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Profits of £70m forecast for this financial year.
  • Superdry is sold in more than 100 countries.
  • Boasts Leonardo Di Caprio, David Beckham and Ed Sheeran among his celebrity customers.
Lessons for your store
  1. Qualifications are not necessary – it’s spotting the gap in the market.
  2. Know the areas you’re expanding into – the retail clothing chain targeted student towns.
  3. Focus on the staff – Julian Dunkerton says it’s not about the Porsche, it’s all about looking after his workers.