Garden furniture wholesaler grows thanks to Yorkshire Bank

A Hull-based garden furniture and ornament wholesaler has purchased one of the largest units at the Humber Enterprise Park after securing a £2.8 million funding arrangement from Yorkshire Bank.

Dutch Imports and Daughters, which marked 25 years in business this year, is planning a phased move from its current base in Hull over the next 12 months. In purchasing one of the largest units at the former BAE Systems factories in Brough, the business will increase its showroom display from 2,000 sq ft to 15,000 sq ft and warehouse space from 30,000 sq ft to 135,000 sq ft – a 350% boost in storage space.

The deal was facilitated by Danny Ruston, relationship manager at Yorkshire Bank’s Hull & Humber Business and Private Banking Centre. Dutch Imports has been a Yorkshire Bank customer since the business was incorporated and the Bank provided a term loan to fund the acquisition under its SME growth lending initiatives, which were launched in September 2014.

The premises purchase has been a particularly significant one for Charles Kraanen, Managing Director of Dutch Imports and Daughters, who as a 20-year-old was actually responsible for cleaning the windows of the building he now owns. He works alongside his daughters Charlene, 32, and Lynsey, 29, who joined the business 12 years ago, selling solely to trade customers in the UK and beyond.

Charles said: “It’s a tremendously exciting time for Dutch Imports and Daughters. The premises move will drastically reshape our business model and allow us to grow exponentially. We are currently finalising plans for a major refurbishment of the building to create a modern workspace that is logistically friendly and showcases our products. The new facilities will allow us not only to significantly increase our stock levels but it will also give us the opportunity to export more widely and increase our workforce.

“A constant throughout, however, will be a focus on providing excellent customer service. We work very hard to differentiate ourselves from our competitors in order to ensure our customers can source good quality items that they won’t find anywhere else. Indeed much of the challenge in the next year or so is to ensure business as usual while we redevelop the new site ahead of our move.”

He added: “I’ve personally been a customer of Yorkshire Bank since I was 17 and while there have been numerous approaches over the years from other banks, we’ve never been tempted to move. Yorkshire Bank have always been able to work with us and take the time to sit down and figure out the best options. Anthony and Danny were a great help during this property purchase, which took a lot of effort. They put plenty of time aside for us and made sure everything went as smoothly as possible.”

David Garness, Managing Director of Garness Jones Chartered Surveyors in Hull, added: “We have acted for and worked alongside Charles at Dutch Imports and Daughters for 20 years. He approached us because he was looking to expand the business and had been struggling to find suitable premises. We identified the property and worked closely with Yorkshire Bank as negotiations progressed. Both Danny and Anthony at the Bank were very accessible and offered real practical help throughout the process.”

Anthony Hutt, Head of Yorkshire Bank’s Hull & Humber Business and Private Banking Centre, said: “We have worked with Charles Kraanen for many, many years and were pleased to be able to support the premises move, which is going to absolutely revolutionise the business.

“Like many successful family businesses, Dutch Imports and Daughters are incredibly hardworking and their continued success is testimony to that. They have an excellent eye for up-and-coming trends and a great team driving the business forward. We know the value this premises purchase will bring to the business and look forward to seeing its transformation when the moves takes place in 2016.”

Yorkshire Bank has strengthened its support for UK SMEs by becoming the first to partner with the British Business Bank under its ENABLE Guarantees scheme. Up to £125m of new lending by Yorkshire Bank will help more small businesses achieve their growth ambitions.

Lynsey Kraanen, Dutch Imports; David Garness, Garness Jones Chartered Surveyors; Charles Kraanen, Dutch Imports; Danny Ruston, Yorkshire Bank; Charlene Kraanen, Dutch Imports and Anthony Hutt, Yorkshire Bank

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