Surf-inspired clothing retailer Saltrock faced every business owner’s nightmare when it fell into administration but remained committed to ambitious plans for the future.
Not only did the company make a full recovery, but its owners succeeded in achieving impressive growth and were crowned Retail Hero in the 2015 Growing Business Awards, hosted by our sister title Real Business.
To find out more, Business Advice spoke to co-founder Angus Thomson about how his business managed to bounce back.
Saltrock was established by brothers Angus and Ross Thomson as a wholesale casual clothing producer in the 1980s and only moved onto the high street in 2002 when the firm’s owners leased expensive retail space to sell men’s, women’s and children’s t-shirts, hoodies and beach clothing.
In retrospect, Thomson (Angus) thought that the move into retail was bad timing. We were stuck with some pretty onerous rents when the financial crisis struck in 2007, he explained. The recession proved too much for the fledgling retailer, which went into administration in 2010.
He described Saltrock’s insolvency as a real low point? for him personally. I was 23 when we started Saltrock I had been growing it for most of my life and it was incredibly difficult to see the business fail, he added.
The company was rescued by Devon entrepreneur James Brent, and its founders were determined to follow through with the strategy of expansion that they had decided on before the recession. The brothers who remained shareholders and continued to run the company quickly saw the plan pay off. In 2014 Saltrock’s sales increased by almost 50 per cent.
Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics as well as running a tutoring company.
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