A classic British childcare brand is set to launch a selection of new products and expand its footprint in the UK and internationally, after securing a seven-figure finance facility.
Silver Cross, which is based in Skipton and was founded more than a century ago, designs and manufactures a premium range of prams, pushchairs and accessories, alongside a suite of baby products that includes award-winning car seats, nursery furniture, travel cots and textiles.
As well as selling direct-to-consumer, the brand’s products can be purchased from leading specialist retailers and a number of household name brands, including John Lewis, Boots and Very.co.uk. Over the past two years, it has been impacted not only by the pandemic, but the closure of Mothercare, formerly its biggest retail partner.
But now, with the support of a multi-million-pound invoice finance facility from Lloyds Bank, it has freed up cashflow to support investment in product development and expansion. Invoice finance helps bolster firms’ liquidity by allowing them to access up to 90 per cent of the value of unpaid invoices, often within 24 hours.
Over the past 12 months, the firm has already increased its headcount by 20 per cent, and boosted turnover by 15 per cent in the UK, and 40 per cent internationally. And now, with new products set to be introduced to its core range in early 2022, turnover is set to jump by a further 25 per cent.
Carl Walsh, chief financial officer of Silver Cross, said: “Like all brands, we were heavily affected by the impact of the pandemic – but through refocussing the business and taking steps to improve our working capital position, we are now ready to target substantial growth both at home and internationally.
“Our premium product range will feature a series of new and improved features that give our products true global appeal, ensuring they will be in high-demand across a spectrum climates and cultures. And there is more in the pipeline, too – we’re excited to work with our retail partners to expand our offering even further and help parents all over the world access the best products for their children.”
As well as expanding its core range, Silver Cross is investing in a ‘digital-first’ strategy to accelerate global growth and drive international brand awareness. It is also working closely with specialist independent nursery retailers across the UK as they invest in their in-store offerings to become more advisory-led and experiential, exploring new ways to showcase the brand for customers.
Mark Butterworth, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Silver Cross is one of the UK’s best-known brands, and we are excited to support their growth as they roll out new, quality products for their customers all over the world.
“They are a leading example of a local brand that has capitalised on market demand without sacrificing their commitment to manufacturing excellence, and are now one of the region’s top employers, as well as a household name. We look forward to supporting Carl and his team as they continue on their growth journey.”