Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry give boost to e-commerce sector ahead of Black Friday
Two Cabinet Ministers have thrown their weight behind the growing e-commerce sector in the East Midlands ahead of Black Friday after opening the new North Road building, officially Loughborough’s single largest building.
Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise and MP for Broxtowe, and local Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan, who is also Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, will speak at the official opening of the 202,000 sq ft building, now owned by fast-growing e-commerce business BuyDirect4u.co.uk, part of Loughborough-based family-run manufacturer Charles Bentley & Son.
The e-commerce sector now contributes a total of £557 billion to the UK economy (according to 2013 figures from the Office for National Statistics), with Black Friday providing an annual peak in sales. Nationally Black Friday sales are predicted to break £1billion for the first time, up from £810million in 2014. The new warehouse represents a £6million investment for the rapidly-growing online retailer BuyDirect4u.co.uk.
Loughborough MP, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women & Equalities, Nicky Morgan said; “As a local MP, I’ve been involved with Charles Bentley & Son for five years now and to witness the growth of the company is fantastic. The business has rescued one of the town’s landmark buildings for Loughborough, which was standing vacant for a number of years, and will now be a thriving hub for one of the region’s fastest growing e-commerce businesses.”
Charles Bentley, managing director for Charles Bentley & Son, said “To have the support of two of the East Midlands’ most influential MPs in this key trading period around Black Friday is fantastic. This building represents a significant investment for Charles Bentley & Son and BuyDirect4u in the town of Loughborough and the East Midlands region, and will enable us to better fulfil the rush of orders around Black Friday, Christmas and beyond.”
BuyDirect4U was established in 2005 as an online retailer sourcing home, garden and leisure products from around the globe, selling directly online to customers in the UK and Europe under the Bentley brand name.
The company achieved a total online sales increase of 68% in 2014 and has already increased this by 50% so far in 2015. The company’s turnover forecast for 2015/2016 is £10 million, which is it on target to achieve.
BuyDirect4U now has a team of 30 staff in its online sales department, working in conjunction with the Bentley head office, and sells more than 1,000 different products through its website.
Charles Bentley & Son Ltd, which was formed in 1860 and is still owned by the original Bentley family, is celebrating 155 years in business in 2015. The company originally started out providing brushes for Victorian chimney sweeps and is now a multi-million pound operation employing 175 people, with specialisms in the equestrian, cleaning and household sector.
For more details on BuyDirect4U visit www.buydirect4u.co.uk.
For more information on Charles Bentley & Son Ltd please contact Caroline Spence or Sarah Ross from Anicca on 0116 298 3726 or 07946 169482.