Reborn Sheffield uniform firm ‘will be the Amazon of  schoolwear market’

School Trends headquarters in Waterthorpe.
School Trends headquarters in Waterthorpe.

The boss of a reborn Sheffield uniform company has vowed to make it “the Amazon of the schoolwear market.”

Tim Thrall says he will invest in IT, customer services and the website to make School Trends a success.

The Waterthorpe company collapsed into administration in December after problems with a supplier led to hundreds of orders worth £60,000 not being delivered.

Some 38 redundancies were made before it was snapped up by investors, led by new managing director Tim Thrall.

He pledged to honour existing orders and lead the remaining 21-strong workforce to success.

He said: “The previous management tried their best, they made some poor decisions but the main crisis was not of their making. They were at the point of deciding whether to take legal action before being overtaken by events. The problems distracted the whole management team and caused cash flow issues. The firm let down a lot of customers, it was an extremely emotive issue.

“We believe a great little business has been struggling for years to get out. We plan to improve customer service, invest in the website and social media. I want this to be the Amazon of the decorated schoolwear market.”

One focus would be Sheffield, he added. Research showed the market within a 15-mile radius was worth £7m, of which School Trends had business worth only £500,000.

It would also concentrate on selling directly to parents online. And it would stick with embroidery because it was durable and it was “what schools want,” he added.

“The schoolwear market is highly season. There’s a relatively quiet period for the next six months. We want to concentrate on getting things sorted out and delivering uniforms on time.

“I’m backed by a consortium of Yorkshire-based businessmen who all have good contacts in the financial community and School Trends will have enough working capital to grow. It has a bright future.”