Lockdown leads to 70% sales increase for online homeware business

Maria Hopwood

A Chester-based online retailer has reported a huge surge in sales as customers look to update their homes and gardens in a bid to make the most of lockdown amid the current COVID-19 crisis.

The Stripes Company said, since the last week in March, retail in the UK has seen an uplift of up to 70%.

The company, which produces a range of homeware, garden and leisure products, specialising in furniture and accessories, said it has a long-standing history of creating high-quality products that homeowners love, all with a stripes theme.

Maria Hopwood, who founded the company in 2006, said: “As with any small business we were taken aback by coronavirus and the impact it’s had on, not only our business but our day-to-day lives. Whilst many are suffering, we are one of the fortunate few who have benefited as a result – something we’re truly humbled by.

“Being an online retailer, we’ve managed to stay connected to our customers, whether they are existing ones or new to the brand. What’s more, we’ve been able to keep up with demand as all orders are prepared in-house, using stock we have – thankfully we source materials for the upcoming season in advance, so had everything we needed to hand.”

Maria originally spotted a gap in the market for brightly covered deckchair canvas while working as a garden specialist antique dealer, and her art teaching degree, combined with a background working in promotions, led to her setting up her own business.

Originally known as Deckchairstripes, it quickly rebranded to The Stripes Company. And, what began as a tribute to the humble deckchair, soon became a brand specialising in all the bold and beautiful brilliance of seaside, sports and leisure.

Maria said: “Sometimes we get asked how we can build a whole business simply on stripes, but when people see the products, it makes perfect sense.”