Best foot forward for Gloucester company after securing £6 million finance facility

James Gardiner

A Gloucester footwear distributer has secured a £6 million finance facility from HSBC UK to support the business throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Gardiners, which is the UK’s leading distributor of global footwear and workwear brands to the retail trade, has used the funding to retain its entire workforce on full pay during the pandemic, with only limited use of the furlough scheme to support those who were required to shield. The funding has also enabled Gardiners to recruit new staff during lockdown to support its growing digital presence in response to changes in the marketplace brought about by Covid-19.
The business currently supplies many well-known retailers across the UK and EU, such as Next, Littlewoods and Very, and the HSBC UK funding has ensured Gardiners can retain this customer base, as well as enter agreements with new brands to continue its ambitious growth strategy.

Five million pounds of the loan was secured from the government-backed Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and £1 million was an increase to its existing Trade Finance facility.

James Gardiner Covid 19James Gardiner, Group CEO of Gardiners, [you can read our interview with him in our March 2020 issue] said: “Gardiners was established in 1860, meaning we have more than 140 years’ experience in providing the best possible service for the different market sectors we operate in. We have worked with HSBC UK for the last 10 of those years and the team has always taken the time to understand the business and identify ways to help us grow. This latest round of funding is no exception; it has enabled us to offer security to those who are at the core of our business and ensure we have a successful future ahead. Our Relationship Director, Mike Bobroff, has been incredibly supportive throughout this funding process, helping us to challenge our thinking and perform better, despite the challenges presented by Covid.”

James Shepherd, Head of Corporate Banking, Avon, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire, HSBC UK, added:

Gardiners shoes“Gardiners is a fantastic example of a successful South West business with an international reach which has gone from strength-to-strength despite the coronavirus crisis. The funding put in place by HSBC UK has ensured Gardiners can safeguard the future of its employees, while continuing to grow the business and adapt to the changing marketplace. We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with James and the team when things return to normal.”