The well-documented cost of living crisis, impacting so heavily on the consumer purse strings, continues to cast a shadow over the retail sector this Christmas. According to The Centre for Retail Research (CRR), 17,145 independents and high street chains were forced to close for good during 2022 with more anticipated to shut this year, particularly if the biggest selling season of the year fails to deliver.
But thankfully, there’s a ray of light shining brightly on a small business in Bridgwater – one that’s bucking the trend and has just announced that it’s on track to increase its year-on-year growth by 13% by the end of this financial year.
Hippychick Ltd, a business that distributes and sells baby and toddler gear and luxury gifts, has had one of its best years of trading in the last decade – welcome news for a business that will be celebrating 25 years in business in 2024.
Julia Minchin, Hippychick’s founder and Managing Director said: “Having several routes to market helps. Hippychick is a business-to-business operation as well as a direct-to-consumer retailer. This year, both sides of the operation have performed outstandingly.
“The website along with Amazon are our biggest consumer facing retail platforms and last year, growth exceeded targets, increasing by a massive 36% (2021-2022 versus 2022-2023).
“But our trade arm, which sells our products into key accounts, is tracking even higher sales growth this financial year, currently at 43%.
“A business like ours is only really as good as the products in the portfolio. We operate in a sector that deals exclusively with babies and toddlers. We’ve always remained wedded to our brand values since our inception, never straying from our mission to offer only the best quality baby and toddler products, as this is one area where parents, particularly first-timers, will almost certainly never compromise.
“Consumer belt tightening is of course impacting our business as it is across the whole of the retail sector. But our strategy is to create genuine value for the consumer, reducing our margins to keep prices competitive but selling higher volume. Black Friday which has just finished, has been a great success. Our Preloved page has been hugely popular so we will continue to add more and more products to it.
“We are also really getting into the swing of warehouse sales, a new retailing concept we launched last year. These events are mutually beneficial, providing Hippychick with a platform to sell end of lines and seconds, direct from our warehouse at up to 80% off list price, and at the same time, delivering extraordinary value to our local customers. They also provide us with the opportunity to help raise money for our charity of the year, the Somerset based Brainwave.”
Hippychick is having another warehouse sale, just in time for Christmas. This will be taking place at Hippychick’s HQ in Robert’s Drive Bridgwater from 10am to 12.30pm on Saturday, December 2.
To find out more about Hippychick, visit the website at www.hippychick.com.