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Gift and jewellery firm Lisa Angel eyeing further growth and new shop

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 December 2016

The team at Lisa Angel in Rackheath. Picture: LISA ANGEL.

The team at Lisa Angel in Rackheath. Picture: LISA ANGEL.

Archant

A long-awaited move into wholesale has been the catalyst for further growth at Lisa Angel, with a new shop and overseas ambitions for 2017.

Site success

Lisa Angel jewellery has gained national exposure after being selected for notonthehighstreet.com’s Christmas advert.

The company is the first partner to top £2m in turnover on the gift website.

Its personalised bar bracelet features in the advert, which shows craftsmen - later revealed to be elves - hard at work on crafting Christmas gifts.

Hannah Webley-Smith, notonthehighstreet.com’s customer director, said: “We’re excited to be launching our Christmas campaign and telling the story of the people who really do make Christmas magical – our 5,000 small creative business partners.”

Mrs Angel said she hoped for “further growth with notonthehighstreet.com” in the coming year.

But she also credited membership of the Future50 with helping shape her company’s strategic direction.

“We are exposed to so many people who are experts in their field, and they get us going by asking about our future plans,” she said.

“Speaking to them has made us more organised and understand the opportunities that are out there.”

It has seen the gift and jewellery retailer record 30% year-on-year growth and means its products are now being sold in more than 250 outlets - up from 100 a year ago - as the firm eyes up shop sites in Cambridge, and possibly London after that.

The Rackheath-based company – a member of the Future50 and the winner of the Investing in Future Growth award at the EDP Business Awards 2016 – has also seen positive results from its drive to increase sales from abroad, and has plans to invest further in its website.

“The growth is so big on the website and the shops in Norwich are going really well,” said founder and creative director Lisa Angel.

“In the shops, customers keep coming back and are hopefully spending a little bit more as well. It’s hard for it to increase dramatically but on the website your market share can get so much bigger.”

Lisa Angel talks to warehouse manager Ashley Smith shortly after the opening of the firm's new warehouse in Rackheath in 2015. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY.Lisa Angel talks to warehouse manager Ashley Smith shortly after the opening of the firm's new warehouse in Rackheath in 2015. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY.

On its own website, Lisa Angel has experimented with translating pages into different languages and accepting foreign currency – a move which has led to a 25% boost in overseas sales in just a month.

Overseas sales now make up 6% of total sales at the company, which last year turned over £4.3m, while favourable exchange rates have been an unexpected bonus, mitigating some of the rise in supply costs.

“We sell between 2,500 and 3,000 products at a time, and our strategy is not to increase that number but to make sure our products are the right ones,” said Mrs Angel. “We want everything to be model-shot, and make it as attractive as it can be.”

It has also seen growth in selling through the gift site notonthehighstreet.com, becoming the first partner to turn over 
more than £2m.

In an increasingly competitive market, Mrs Angel said the company wanted to step up its customer service, while behind the scenes a new quality control department has been established.

“We now have customer services working seven days a week and later into the evenings, to get us up there with the companies we consider our competition,” she said.

But website growth does not mean withdrawal from bricks-and-mortar retail, said Mrs Angel, with the company on the look-out for shop sites in Cambridge, with the aim of opening in 2017 – with a London branch the following year “pencilled in” as a longer-term aim.

“I feel we would have the right customer there: a fashion conscious customer who would appreciate some of our quirky design and our aesthetics, but also lots of families and a young client base,” she said.

The business has a core staff of around 50, but has more than 80 on the payroll at the moment in the run-up to Christmas – some of whom are likely to stay on into the new year.

It was founded by Mrs Angel and her husband David, who started out selling jewellery from a stall at the Forum in Norwich.

Are you investing for future growth in your business? Email mark.shields@archant.co.uk

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