Reward seven-figure funding deal empowers Norwich shoemaker to launch new product range

Photograph: (Left to Right) Simon Adcock and Peter Lamble

A seven-figure funding deal from Reward Finance Group has been provided to support Norwich-based Start-Rite Shoes. The funds will facilitate the launch of a new ‘back to school’ product line, catalysing business transformation and driving revenue growth.

The company, which sells children’s shoes to the likes of John Lewis, Next, and many other retailers, is one of Britain’s longest-established manufacturers – operating for over 230 years. The working capital facility also enhances the company’s order book with trade customers and its e-commerce platform as well as introducing the new school range.

Reward, which specialises in tailored business finance and asset-based solutions up to £5m, has worked closely with Start-Rite Shoes to identify financial opportunities for new product development. Like many other SMEs, Start-Rite has found it challenging to secure finance within a narrow timeframe via traditional high street banks and other lenders.

Following a long-term funding arrangement with a bank that was not able to provide the commercial finance at the speed it required, Start-Rite Shoes reached out to Reward.

In contrast, Reward provided greater speed and flexibility of lending, processing the deal at the pace required to enable Start-Rite Shoes to meet forward orders across its new product range and capitalise on the crucial ‘back to school’ period.

Commenting on the new funding deal, Peter Lamble, Chairman of Start-Rite Shoes, said: “The funding provided by Reward has empowered us to act quickly and launch a more affordable range of shoes in the current economic climate. It has also helped us improve our cashflow and supply chain, paving the foundation for us to drive increased revenue and growth across our core trade and direct to consumer markets.

“The agility and flexibility the team at Reward provided helped us overcome previous issues caused by supplier delays, move forward with the launch of our new product range and accelerate our manufacturing process.”

Simon Adcock, Reward’s Regional Director for London and the South East, added; “It’s been our pleasure to step in and provide a fast funding solution during a vital trading period for the client.

“Having manufactured since 1792, Start-Rite Shoes has an impressive legacy, so it’s rewarding to collaborate with such an established business with clear strategic ambitions that simply needed the working capital to realise its goals. This is an excellent example of how being agile in providing the right type of commercial finance can propel any business forward.

“The funding deal was introduced by Gordon Duffy, chartered banker at Business Funding Expert, also based in Norwich, who I was delighted to work with on the successful transaction.”