Studio takes centre stage

Studio Retail managing director Paul Kendrick has revealed his vision for the Accrington-based business.

He told an audience at the launch of the latest edition of Lancashire Business View: “I want us to be the UK’s most-loved digital value retailer.”

Paul also spoke of the work being carried out towards that end – including the business’ recent name-change and its on-going transformation from catalogue to online selling. He said: “Today 75 per cent of all our orders are online.”

Work is also underway to raise Studio Retail’s profile – through more digital activity and TV advertising.

And locally the business is looking to reach out and highlight the many career opportunities it can offer people.

Paul also spoke of the importance of Christmas to the operation, which offers personalised gifts.

In the run up to the 2018’s festivities Studio’s workforce rose to 2,400 people and in Black Friday week alone 500,000 parcels were dispatched from its Accrington base.

Yesterday’s audience at Forrest Hills in Lancaster also heard that work is already underway to prepare for this Christmas.

The Lancashire Business View launch event, sponsored by Baines Wilson and Fat Media, also heard from business leaders in the Lancaster district about the impact of the new Bay Gateway road and the “game-changing” potential of the Eden Project plan for Morecambe.

That discussion involved Rodney Banks Lyon of Banks Lyon jewellers, Kim Brown of Bowker IT and Caroline Rayner of solicitors Baines Wilson.

Caroline said: “In terms of opportunities there is a real buzz about the place. People are excited.

“The Bay Gateway is more than a road. We really need to think about the opportunities that it presents to us.”

Another panel discussion examined the prospects for Lancashire business and industry in 2019.

Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, Tony Grimshaw of Padiham-based household plastics manufacturer What More UK, said Lancashire would prosper.

He said: “We are full of resilient and skilled people. If your products are right they will be purchased wherever in the world.”

The audience also heard from Shru Morris of Napthens and Dave Walker of +24 Marketing. They talked of the importance of investing in innovation and training. Dave also spoke of the huge growth of the digital sector. Delegates also heard from Rob Hallam of Bigtank Productions, Tony Mawson from Organisational Healthcare and Stewart case of Jones Harris, who gave two-minutes of advice on marketing, health at the workplace and digital tax.