Customer wins fuel Workwear Express expansion

A fast-growing North East corporate clothing supplier is winning new customers at the rate of 500 per week.

Workwear Express has built a 50,000-strong client base after winning new contracts in the corporate clothing, leisure and events markets.

Previously the County Durham-based company had grown its customer base by around 1,300 a month, but the recent contract wins have lifted that figure to 2,000 – which translates into an extra £200,000 of revenue each month.

This upward trend is part of a longer-term plan at Workwear to double turnover from £10m to £20m by 2018. The company already produces more than 60,000 embroidered logos and 40,000 prints each week from its state-of-the-art factory, which runs 24 hours a day.

Andrew Ward, managing director and founder of Workwear, said: “In recent years our customer base has diversified massively and now contains schools, nurseries, retail stores and charities. Our core business is still the corporate clothing market, where we supply branded uniforms to companies such as Sage, John Lewis and Carphone Warehouse, but we’ve also won a lot of work in the events and leisure markets.

“That has allowed us to ramp up production, grow revenues and take on more staff. We now have 100 people working at our headquarters in Belmont and there is scope to increase headcount further as we embark on the next stage of our growth.”

Recent expansion has been driven by Mr Ward’s decision to refocus the Workwear business model in 2008 after the company lost a major client that accounted for 35% of its business. He invested in web technology and transformed Workwear into a slick e-commerce operation – a shift which proved to be the catalyst for significant growth. Turnover has more than trebled since 2009 and national and international contracts have been won, with orders flooding in from Australia, the Middle East, China and Europe.

Aside from its success in the corporate clothing market, Workwear produces promotional T shirts, bags, baseball caps, scarves and umbrellas for the leisure industry and has won large volumes of work from universities, societies and clubs.

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