Workplace equipment company targets overseas markets

A North East business which relies heavily on the European market has launched a three-year plan to drive a turnover of more than £11m by launching new online stores in Germany and France.

M.I. Supplies is already set to mark the end of its 12th year in operation with a record sales figure as income has climbed to £2.5m from £2.3m. Their brand new plan, which they have named Project 2020, aims to shatter these sales records.

Owner Alex Ingham said: “We’re not doing a complete 360-degree turn with the business, but we are looking to drive our online growth even further over the next three years.

“£11m might sound like a figure we’ve plucked out of the sky. But people told me I was crazy quoting £2m in online sales a year ago, and we’re on course to achieve that in 2018.

“We’ve looked at how the website has grown. It has done exactly what we wanted it to after developing it a year ago.

“To get to £10m by 2020, we need four online orders every 15 minutes. We’re not looking to re-invent the wheel, we’re just building on what we’ve already achieved and carrying on doing what works, and more importantly what works for the customer.”

M.I. Supplies, based on the border East Durham, is one of the leading suppliers of workplace equipment in the United Kingdom. Ahead of the online launches in Germany and France, Ingham said the company has done its market research to achieve similar results in other European countries.

“We can deliver to Germany a lot cheaper than German companies can deliver to the UK, so we’ve got a really valuable proposition for the customer,” he added.

“We’re still picking up new B2B contracts and that remains an important part of the business. We still need both, but online gives us more markets and opens us up to the whole world.”

M.I. Supplies was founded in 2005. It began in an empty building with no customers and no stock. It has since become one of the UK’s leading suppliers of PPE, clothing, footwear and more.


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