Worcester-based OLPRO Ltd, a fast-growing online retailer of outdoor recreational products such as tents and cooking equipment, has secured £350,000 in funding from Santander Business Banking to help the firm accelerate its international growth strategy.
Exports now account for 4% of the firm’s sales, with countries such as France, Germany and the USA driving growth. The plan is to double this over the next three years, with target markets including Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Italy. The firm’s website is already available in 55 languages.
To spearhead growth, it is hiring three additional employees this year to help support its expansion strategy and greater international sales.
Founded in 2011 by Daniel Walton, OLPRO has already won the best use of social media award in Worcestershire and has been nominated for three more awards including the Fastest-Growing Business in Worcestershire and Best Ecommerce site. The firm is forecasting to double its revenue over the next three years off the back of strong customer demand. Among other things, it is aiming to achieve stronger consumer sales – it has already seen a 73% increase in the use of its website since 2017.
Daniel Walton, director, OLPRO Ltd, said: “We believe that the opportunities open to us through exporting to established and new markets are huge, and the funding and support from Santander is a significant factor in helping us achieve this international aspiration. We think we have developed a strong product proposition in a competitive market and are set to build on this through additional products and service capabilities in 2020 and beyond.”
Chris Gagg, business relationship director at Santander Business Banking, said: “We are delighted to help Daniel and the team at OLPRO to capitalise on excellent opportunities for growth, particularly with regards to overseas expansion in new markets such as Italy and Spain. They wanted a bank with strong international expertise, local face-to face-relationship management, and a clear appetite to support local growing businesses, and we believe Santander is ideally placed to help them succeed.”
As well as its online shop, OLPRO is becoming more visible at outdoor events and festivals, such as the Camping and Caravan show at the NEC in Birmingham. It also has a growing book of B2B trade customers, including Argos and Halfords.
In addition to the funding, the business has also joined the Santander Discount Platform, a staff portal that reaches 27,000 staff members and up to five family and friends. This should increase the firm’s potential online sales and website traffic by offering a competitive discount to a large number of additional customers.