Oh Polly , Managing Director
Dr Michael Branney is the Managing Director of Oh Polly. He oversees all operational and management aspects of the organisation including finance, senior recruitment, day-to-day management, strategy, operations and logistics. Mike launched Oh Polly alongside Claire Henderson in late 2015, whilst completing the final two years of his PhD in Wind Energy at the University of Strathclyde.
Despite being new to the world of fashion, Mike set up a fully owned and funded factory with a 400 strong workforce in Bangladesh before then opening another factory in China which now has over 120 employees. Having full control of the product lifestyle has enabled Mike to ensure that no workers are exploited and that safe working conditions are provided.
Mike’s strategy to maintain control over production and achieve vertical integration at an early stage in the business life cycle has given Oh Polly a fierce competitive advantage by allowing the business to prioritise quality above all else. This differentiates the brand from its main competitors, as no other UK based fashion retailer has total command over its production. Furthermore, all products are designed in house and sampled in the brand’s international factories. The adoption of a rigorous pricing model prioritises speed and quality over costs, setting Oh Polly apart from its other fast fashion competitors.
A newcomer to the retail scene, Oh Polly has challenged long standing online giants including ASOS and Boohoo to grow its customer base. Despite the UK retail trend of stagnant growth, Oh Polly has reported record revenues thanks to the soaring sales of its fashion-forward designs.