• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

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Colourful future for family-run business as online sales skyrocket

A family run decorating business in County Durham is set to invest in its online operations after seeing a 300% leap in internet orders in a year.

Since the first lockdown amid Covid-19 restrictions, the Decorating Centre Online (DCO) has seen a huge leap in sales, putting the Coundon-based business on track to exceed £3.8m this year.

Providing a large range of quality wallpapers, decorating supplies and paints, including colour match equivalents using the latest paint mixing equipment, the “Stay at Home” orders in place over the past 12 months have seen interest in home-owners looking for a change of interior scenery and functionality rise exponentially.

Owner and director of DCO, Helen Johnson, said, “Despite many of the challenges we all faced in 2020, we have been incredibly fortunate in that many people have looked to redesign or revamp the places within their homes that they were using the most.”

As was the case with many businesses during 2020, DCO’s success did not come without setbacks as demands grew.

“Products were being purchased faster than we were receiving stock and with an escalating online decorating community and increased traffic to our website, early in lockdown we decided to close ordering online to put customers first, initially only opening to take the number of orders we knew we could fulfil and to keep supplying working tradesmen,” she added.

“With a huge team effort, we scaled our operation and ensured delivery dates were kept as low as possible despite unprecedented supply chain delays and volume of orders.

“Since then, we had to continuously adapt to the astounding growth we are still experiencing today. I’m so proud of our little team who have been truly amazing and despite the circumstances still maintained industry leading levels of customer service.”

Established in 1985, Helen Johnson took over the family business as owner and director in 2015 to drive the business forward when her parents retired. At that time, the store employed three full-time and one part-time member of staff and had a turnover of £430,000.

Joined by her husband Matt Goddard four years later, the couple invested an initial £500,000 to bring its retail offering, operations and processes up to date, along with employing 14 additional staff to progress the online aspect of the business.

DCO also revealed plans to further invest significantly to build the online business, developing its product and service offering, customer experience, brand and further job creation to build this to over £6m in 2022.