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Gloucestershire Business News

The Essential One becomes essential purchase

Mark Handley

Specialist maternity and babywear retailer The Essential One has seen a significant rise in sales during the coronavirus pandemic as families become more active online.

Retail veteran Mark Handley bought the business in April 2019 and has expanded its offering to include Zippy Kidswear from Portugal and STEM learning toys from Discovery.

Mr Handley, who has worked for well-known high street labels including Topshop and Warehouse, said sales have received a lift since the lockdown as parents search for ways of entertaining children whilst schools are closed and Mums-to-be look for other ways to purchase maternity wear.

Social media and influencer activity has helped raise brand awareness of the toys and clothing.

The Essential One website has sold more than 1,000 items in the past month as demand reaches new heights.

Catering for families' needs from maternity to babywear (0-2 years) with its own brand of clothing and bedding, the company has the license to supply Discovery, Discovery #Mindblown and Sharper Image toys along with the popular Zippy brand of clothing for 0-12 years.

Having supplied Discovery toys to Next for the past nine months and achieving the best seller online at Christmas with the Neon Light Drawing Board, there are plans to expand the partnership with The Essential One range of clothing so there are exciting times ahead.

Mr Handley said: "We have set up a strong supply chain and currently ship to Europe on a daily basis.

"We have been surprised by the level of international orders in this challenging period, but have managed to fulfil them while adhering to government guidelines."

Despite restrictions on business due to the pandemic, The Essential One has been able to fulfil orders from its Gloucester and Southampton warehouses with each package hand wrapped and sent with care.

The company is also spending this time to focus on its next ventures, including growing its offline business through its wholesale channel and looking to open its first retail outlet.

While ambitious to expand across the UK and globally, The Essential One is keen to prioritise local custom and is delighted to offer Punchline readers a 20 per cent discount when they place an order.

Visit www.theessentialone.com and quote PUNCH20 on checkout.

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