On February 1, South East Workwear opened the doors to its brand new workwear shop in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
It was opened with the intention of making workwear more accessible to the customer and the latest financial figures show that South East Workwear has grown by nearly 25% over the last 12 months, in part thanks to the opening of the new store.
Ady Burton, director, said: “Time could only tell if investing in the reinvention of selling workwear was going to pay off for us. This was a huge investment back in to the high street as so many similar companies are based on industrial estates.”
The store stocks well known workwear brands such as Dickies, Helly Hansen and Scruffs, with Dickies investing a substantial amount of money to make part of the retail unit the brand’s new independent flagship store in the UK. As well as workwear and PPE, the store also stocks over 1,000 pairs of boots for customers to try on and take away the same day.
Mr Burton continued: “This last quarter alone where we have operated from our new store, has seen our Dickies’ sales soar by an extra 75% compared to last year. Our company sales figures had been set to target a modest 10% growth on last year but instead have seen nearly 25% for the year.
“Viv (Ady’s wife) and I truly believe that reinventing yourself and always evolving your business, taking risks and going against the status quo is vital to stay ahead of the competition. It shows in the figures, that the belief of the investment is really worth it, not only have we added valuable business that employs many local people, but the footfall has increased in store by over 500% compared to our old shop.”
The new store is located next door to South East Workwear’s old shop, so the team don’t have to worry about losing their existing trade. Currently there are no plans to roll out the new shop style across the UK as Mr Burton believes it is important to get the formula right first.
“Bringing workwear to the high street is a gamble, but one that has been very well received,” Mr Burton concluded.