Funding deal helps shoemaker put best foot forward

A seven-figure funding deal from Reward Finance Group is helping Norwich-based Start-Rite Shoes polish up its range.

The funds facilitate the launch of a new ‘back to school’ product line, to catalyse business transformation and drive revenue growth.

The company, which sells children’s shoes to the likes of John Lewis, Next, and many other retailers, is one of Britain’s longest-established manufacturers – operating for over 230 years.

The working capital facility also enhances the company’s order book with trade customers and its e-commerce platform as well as introducing the new school range.

Reward, which specialises in tailored business finance and asset-based solutions up to £5m, worked closely with Start-Rite Shoes to identify financial opportunities for new product development. Like many other SMEs, Start-Rite has found it challenging to secure finance within a narrow timeframe via traditional high street banks and other lenders.

Following a long-term funding arrangement with a bank that was not able to provide the commercial finance quickly enough, Start-Rite Shoes approached Reward.

Reward’s loan will enable Start-Rite Shoes to meet forward orders across its new product range and capitalise on the crucial ‘back to school’ period.

Peter Lamble, Chairman of Start-Rite Shoes, said: “The funding provided by Reward has empowered us to act quickly and launch a more affordable range of shoes in the current economic climate. It has also helped us improve our cashflow and supply chain, paving the foundation for us to drive increased revenue and growth across our core trade and direct to consumer markets.

“The agility and flexibility the team at Reward provided helped us overcome previous issues caused by supplier delays, move forward with the launch of our new product range and accelerate our manufacturing process.”

Simon Adcock, Reward’s regional director, added; ““Having manufactured since 1792, Start-Rite Shoes has an impressive legacy, so it’s rewarding to collaborate with such an established business with clear strategic ambitions that simply needed the working capital to realise its goals. This is an excellent example of how being agile in providing the right type of commercial finance can propel any business forward.

“The funding deal was introduced by Gordon Duffy, chartered banker at Business Funding Expert, also based in Norwich, who I was delighted to work with on the successful transaction.”

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