A Northampton business has seen great success during the coronavirus lockdown, primarily selling toys online.
Squizzas moved to a new distribution center in Abington and doubled its staff to keep up with the huge demand as the public was stuck inside.
The Wellingborough Road store remains closed as co-founder Luke Bedden has said it is too small and not making as much money as the website.
âAmazon has stopped accepting some warehouse deliveries and we are a toy retailer, so all toy orders from Amazon have come to us, which has skyrocketed our sales,â he said.
“We doubled the number of employees and had our best month. It’s a bad time but it’s been pretty good for us.”
Squizzas was started five years ago by Luke and his friend Sean French, initially selling anything they could find on eBay and Amazon from their homes in Abington.
Growth was steady with the opening of online and “bricks and mortar” stores, but orders exploded from mid-March, when schools were closed and people were urged to stay in. the House.
Luke said: “We were doing great before, but since mid-March our sales have been going crazy.”
Squizzas sales increased tenfold with board games up 5,000 percent, arts and crafts up 4,500 percent, bubble solutions 2,500 percent and hot tubs up 2,000 percent .
In total, more than 100,000 orders were shipped during the lockdown and last month the company hit its very first month of Â£ 1million.
But Luke admitted it was “a bit of a nightmare” at first with too few employees and some being off work with Covid-19 affecting the customer service side of the business.
âIt was difficult, customer service was very difficult because we were understaffed and people are at home so they are contacting more,â he said.
“So it was difficult for us, but we adapted and got more people to do it with three more positions opening soon.”
March through May is generally the quietest time of year for toy retailers like Squizzas, but this year has changed everything, according to Luke.
The co-founder said many were struggling to keep their suppliers from fulfilling orders, but luckily they had a lot of stock in their warehouse so were able to take advantage of it.
However, online success means the Wellingborough Road store remained closed after the lockdown.
âWe are always very busy and quite shocked,â he said.
“We have a store but we don’t mind reopening it as it was so little compared to online anyway and it’s so small that we can’t safely put two colleagues in it.”