(PRWEB UK) 7 June 2012
Furniture in Fashion, which sells designer furniture, living room furniture, dining room furniture, moved its office from Bolton town centre to an industrial estate in Farnworth last year after the bulk of its customers moved to the web.
Now it is helping entrepreneurs set up affiliate and “drop-shipping” businesses.
Drop-shippers — essentially roving salespeople — set their own online prices for Furniture in Fashion products while affiliates are paid a commission for anything they sell through their websites.
The furniture is made in Malaysia and packed in Germany, while the company also employs 46 staff in Bolton, India and Pakistan.
The overseas workers are involved in search engine optimisation.
Managing director Asad Shamim is also planning a call centre in India for a 24- hour operation.
He said the company now has a network of about 200 affiliates and drop-shippers.
He said: “In the first three months this year our sales increased by 40 per cent. This method is ideal for home-based businesses because it eliminates the need for storage and inventory management.
“One of the main advantages of drop-shipping is it also lowers start-up costs.
“The cash outlay needed is greatly reduced and money can be ploughed back into developing their services.”
Asad Shamim moved the store from Trinity Street, Bolton, last year because of rising business rates, while visits to the showroom were falling.
He said: “The whole retail base in the area changed when Focus stopped trading, Rivington Taylor closed and the old college was demolished.
“Then a fire destroyed a business across the road from us, along with our warehouse.”
Now the company, which used to have five warehouses scattered over different sites, is under one roof in a 50,000 sqft warehouse on Farnworth’s Express Industrial Estate. Mr Shamim spent several years looking for the 30- acre site, which cost £2.5 million to redevelop, and houses all the business, including the warehouse and 90 per cent of the stock, showroom and offices.