Few can forget the devastation caused by Storm Desmond in December of last year, with the footage of homes being flooded and possessions being lost still fresh in the mind for many.
It is a plight you would wish upon no family. Unsurprisingly, such events also have a devastating impact upon independent businesses’ whose owners can’t afford to stay closed for a prolonged period of time. Owners and staff who depend on their stores for an income, with their livelihoods often coming under threat through closure.
As a brand, we supply over 160 independent retailers across the UK, and we were saddened to learn about the misfortune of Simply Baby, a store which has been stocking iCandy for almost 10 years. The store is located in Lancaster and was one of those unlucky enough to be adversely effected by the storms and forced to relocate, with their stoc k and store ruined for the foreseeable future. However, in just under six months Julie, the owner of Simply Baby, and her close knit team have managed to reopen their original store’s doors. It is a tremendous achievement and we are delighted to see the team back on their feet and ready to share their story.
Upon hearing the devastating news from Julie, we felt it our duty to help out the Simply Baby team in any way we could, immediately aiding them by securing new stock to cover the lost stock, along with temporary free of charge display goods for their short-term store. On top of this, due to this being a natural disaster, we also gave them temporary assistance with the payment terms and ensured the iCandy Point of Sale area was installed in the original store before moving back home. The Independents are valued members of the iCandy family and we feel strongly about not abandoning one of our stockists during their hour of need.
The turnaround has been quite incredible, the store re-opened its doors on the 29th April, with a mad hatter themed tea party welcoming guests. They are now back in business and we couldn’t be happier for the entire team. Having been devastatingly affected 6 months ago, to being able to celebrate re opening on their original premises now, it has been a fantastic feel good story for the local area. We recently held the inaugural iCandy event at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. Simply Baby was one of a number of stockists in attendance and they used the opportunity to celebrate their renaissance and feel even more part of the iCandy family.
Simply Baby Account Manager, Andy Mallard says “I’m delighted that Julie, Becky and the team managed to recover from their flood that closed their store overnight. To be flooded out, lose almost all their stock, all fittings and even some of their order books, temporarily relocate, renovate, improve, return to the original store and be trading again 5 months later is a remarkable achievement, on top of this they still managed to beat their iCandy contracted sales target. I believe this is a great example of how a retailer can with hard work and determination achieve what some would regard as impossible. May’s Event in Manchester was a suitable place to celebrate. Well done to the whole Simply Baby Team in Lancaster.”
The Simply Baby team can now look forward to returning to an element of normality, stronger than ever after the testing times endured during the aftermath of Storm Desmond. Huge credit must go to the entire team for their fortitude throughout and their endeavour in getting back on their feet in such a short a space of time. Julie is extremely grateful to her staff and iCandy for helping during the past six months.
“After the initial shock and destruction, the last 6 months have been very busy and challenging. Our key focus was always not to reflect on the impact of Storm Desmond, but to return to our original store and be back open as soon as possible....we couldn’t have achieved this without the support of the Simply Baby team, suppliers and our valued customers. iCandy, and our account manager Andy, have been tremendous over the last 6 months, whilst we initially opened our temporary store last January, right the way through to the re-opening back in May. Our new iCandy display stand looks fantastic and certainly stands out instore, making us feel that we are back ‘home’ very quickly! We are extremely grateful for iCandy’s support and assistance over the last 6 months and very much look forward to working with the iCandy team and the brand in the future.”
We are delighted to see Simply Baby back up and running for business, if you live in the area why not check out the new store along with the latest iCandy product lines. Their friendly and knowledgeable team are always happy to answer any queries you may have.