Chichester clothing store celebrates 50 years

A thriving clothing business will mark 50 years of trading tomorrow with a special range of treats for its customers.

Dartagnan in North Street has weathered the changing retail climate and a ‘devastating’ break-in earlier this year.

Owner of the Dartagnan Menswear store, Matt Horstead

Owner of the Dartagnan Menswear store, Matt Horstead

But the retailer is still going strong and doing ‘really well’.

“It’s quite an achievement,” said owner Matt Horstead.

“One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is obviously the internet and that changing retail scene.

“Our sales are primarily still bricks and mortar, while we followed the trend and got a website and a powerful social media presence.

“In retail you’re only as good as the day before – it’s a bit of a cliché but it really is true – every day is a constant striving to get those sales and you don’t really have a great deal of time to reflect.”

Matt took over the brand 18 years ago at the age of just 25, and put everything he owned into the company.

He said he wanted to thank his wife, Katrina, for being his ‘bedrock’ through running a business and the team for their support.

One element he’s very happy with is the shop’s new larger space in North Street, following a move last year.

“One of the comments that will stick with me is a customer said ‘you’ve made this look like a mini Harvey Nicholls’.

“For me it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Dartagnan is planning a mini-bar provided by Purchases, gifts provided by Molton Brown, and other treats and offers tomorrow to mark the 50th anniversary of the brand’s first store opening in Winchester.