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Craft business appoints commercial expert

ByDave Stopher

Jan 25, 2017

County Durham-based Crafter’s Companion has followed-up an impressive year with a high-profile hire that will help the company to continue its growth into 2017.

After making a multi-million-pound investment into its retail operations and doubling its headcount to 115 people in 2016, the craft supplies business has appointed experienced commercial expert John Nicholas to drive the company’s expansion plans from its headquarters in Newton Aycliffe.

John will be responsible for all of the company’s commercial teams, including marketing, sales and retail. His main focus will be on driving sales across various channels, developing customer experience and shaping a clear growth strategy for the company’s operations in the region and beyond.

The businessman joins the company as chief commercial officer for the UK and Europe after working with its board in a strategic advisory role for 18 months and subsequently as a non-executive for six months.

Crafter’s Companion founder Sara Davies MBE said: “Despite economic uncertainty last year, we pressed on with our commitments for a bigger corporate HQ here in the North-East, our flagship store in Durham, a second store in Chesterfield and a major recruitment drive.

“The appointment of a professional of John’s calibre will help us to continue our success and underlines our commitment to seriously expanding Crafter’s Companion as a global business very much embedded in the region for many years to come.

“Having spent time with John over the last two years, I know that not only is he an astute businessman, but he understands the value of our company culture, our roots in the North-East and our commitment to staff, suppliers and the local community that we operate in.”

Having worked in senior roles with Pure Collection, Hotter, Travelex and Vodafone over the last 20 years, John brings a wealth of retail experience to the award-winning organisation. His notable career achievements include taking a business from a £30million turnover to £100 million in just four years.

Commenting, John said: “I have witnessed the progress of the Crafter’s Companion business over the last few years and I’ve been very impressed by the culture and the growth opportunities that exist. It’s a great example of the potential that the North-East business community has.

“We have fantastic people and very loyal customers, which is a great foundation, and as a truly multichannel retailer there are so many opportunities for continued expansion.

“As a customer-driven business we want to inspire people with our products, whilst making it easy to purchase from us, whether that be through an independent retailer, our own stores, TV or online”

For more information about Crafter’s Companion visit www.crafterscompanion.co.uk.