Lancashire toy box firm eyes European expansion

BOE House, based in Thornton, which does business as Baby Box Shop, sells a range of gift sets for special occasions for babies and toddlers, which include items such as clothes and soft toys.

The company, run by Kim and Owen Burrows, sells through Amazon and has seen steady growth through June 2020.

However, due to the time it took to order products, often from China, and then ship them to customers, Baby Box Shop did not have enough excess funds to grow at the speed Kim and Owen wanted. They also needed to expand the warehouse and employ more staff.

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Left to right, Aidy Riggott, LCC, Owen and Kim Burrows and Jonathan Nelson, Rosebud.

Owen said: “We can often look at a five month cycle from when we place an order for items with factories and distributors to when we receive payment.

“This includes manufacturing, time in transit to our production studio, assembly and packaging of the product before shipping to Amazon warehouses in the US or EU, before finally being released. sale to customers.

Baby Box Shop was introduced to Rosebud by Caroline Turley at Access to Finance Lancashire. The company secured a loan of £160,000 from Rosebud to support its expansion.

It was already operating in the United States, Germany, France, Spain and Italy and has now entered Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Turkey and the Netherlands with growing interest in other markets, including the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

Rosebud is owned by the County Council’s Lancashire County Developments and aims to support the growth of businesses and the county’s economy, offering loans between £10,000 and £300,000.

Rosebud’s support has helped Baby Box Shop increase its workforce from 6 to 15 and the company continues to recruit as part of its goal to employ 22 people by the end of the five-year term of the loan.

The support also made it possible to improve the production studio, the machines and the website.

Owen added: “We expect Europe to have better delivery lines in the future and we are in the process of opening a European branch of the company.”

County Councilor Aidy Riggott said: “Owen and Kim have a strong ambition to expand internationally and a clear strategy to get there. I am proud that as County Council we are able to provide funds to help Lancashire businesses like Baby Box Shop achieve these goals.

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