Tuesday, June 12, 2012

News: Finance deal feeds Approved Food's appetite for growth


Rotherham-based online discount food and drink retailer, Approved Food, plans to double its size and triple the number of employees to meet growing customer demand.

The online service offers deals that no supermarket can compete with by selling over 1,000 long dated, short dated or out of date "best before" products from many well-loved brands.

Since moving to premises on the North Anston Trading Estate in Dinnington, Rotherham in 2010, the company has continued to grow quickly. Turnover is expected to hit £10m by the end of the 2013 financial year.

Substantial investment in new technology and increased staffing levels has seen the company boost market share and an undisclosed finance package provided by UK Steel Enterprise Ltd and Finance Yorkshire will enable the company to invest further to underpin the company's rapid growth.

Keith Williams, regional manager for UK Steel Enterprise said: "Dan and his co-Director Andy Needham have created a great business that has the potential to be a big player in a niche market. It has already created much needed new jobs and looks set to become a substantial employer in South Yorkshire and beyond.

"The can-do attitude of the management and other staff inspired us with confidence and the figures speak for themselves; we really believe that this company is going places and look forward to working with them over the coming years."

Andy Needham, director at Approved Food, added: "We have a unique combination of technical skills and sourcing experience and have invested heavily in ensuring we have firm foundations in place to go to the next level. We are delighted that Finance Yorkshire and UK Steel Enterprise have recognised the work that has taken place so far and have come on board as partners to assist in the next stage of growth.

"The savings we can offer our customers are substantial and now we have the funding, we believe that everything is in place to allow us to really accelerate growth, customer share and save even more households money in these testing times."

Although nothing is ever sold past its "use by" date, products that are past their "best before" date are perfectly fine to consume and very few people are able to tell the difference. Buying goods this way is not only good value, but also helps reduce the amount of food waste by making use of products that supermarkets are otherwise ready to throw away.

Dan Cluderay, founder director of Approved, said: "Times are tough for the British housewife struggling to make ends meet in the recession but we are here to help with our big shopping basket. 13,000 new customers joined us in the first quarter of this year, that's an average of 250 new shoppers a week and there is no sign of demand shrinking – which is why we needed the funding to allow us to take on more people etc.

"We have already set on 20 new employees this year and expect to take on another 20 before next Christmas. By the same time in 2013 we expect to have tripled our workforce."

Approved Food website

UK Steel Enterprise website

Finance Yorkshire website

Images: Finance Yorkshire


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