MANY high street fashion brands have found themselves in rough water in recent months - but for one retailer trading continues to be plain sailing.

In the 12 months to February the Cornish clothing brand Seasalt saw its pre-tax profits soar to £2.5m - five times the figure recorded the previous year.

While some of the company's competitors have ceased trading, Seasalt has watched sales grow by more than 20% each year for the past decade.

Now Seasalt is coming to the New Forest.

The business, which aims to inspire women of all ages to dress with confidence and creativity, is opening a branch in Lymington High Street next month as part of a nationwide expansion scheme.

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The shop - Seasalt's 70th outlet in the UK - will be opened by Lymington's deputy mayor, Cllr Andrew Sutherland.

Seasalt's founder, Neil Chadwick, said: “We love the New Forest, and Lymington reminds us of many of Cornwall’s towns, so we are really looking forward to becoming part of the community there.”

The Seasalt success story began in 1981.

A company spokesman said: "On a wet August day the Chadwick family went into a little shop in Adelaide Street, Penzance, called General Clothing Stores.

"They only went in to buy some waterproof coats but ended up buying the shop as well.

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"Our customers were local farmers, fishermen and sailors, plus quite a few St Ives artists as well. Those early days have really influenced how our products look today."

Neil worked in the shop alongside his two brothers, Leigh and David.

"When their dad Don passed away in 2001 the brothers decided to create a clothing brand inspired by all the things they loved about Cornwall - and Seasalt was born," added the spokesman.

Customers have included the Duchess of Sussex, who was pictured wearing a Seasalt coat when she and Prince Harry toured New Zealand.

The business has defied difficult conditions in the retail world by opening ten new stores in places such as Belfast, Tenby and Cambridge and now employs more than 1,000 staff. In the 12 months to February sales soared by 29% to £66m.

The new Lymington branch will open on December 7 at 9.30am.

Activities will take place throughout the day, including complimentary Christmas bauble decorating by illustrator Becki Clark and entertainment from shanty singers Short Drag Roger.

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