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University partnership guides company to award success

12 October 2015

A North West company has won a national industry award, after partnering with UCLan in a bid to drive the business forward

 

A North West company has won a national industry award, after partnering with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in a bid to drive the business forward.

Stokers Fine Furniture, which has stores in Chester, Ormskirk and Southport, was named furniture retailer of the year at the Associated Independent Stores (AIS) Furniture Show in Cranmore Park, Birmingham, in September.

The company worked in collaboration with UCLan from January 2014 as part of a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which helps businesses improve productivity, performance and gain a competitive edge.

Stokers wanted to evolve from a traditional retail unit based business into a multi-channel retailer, building on its existing e-commerce platform.

In response to the challenge, a team of academics from UCLan provided expertise relating to digital marketing, website optimisation, business information management and retail strategy, which has resulted in a significant increase in sales, both in-store and online.

"Everyone at UCLan with involvement in the project is delighted Stokers has received national acclaim as AIS retailer of the year.”

Dharma Kovvuri, Dean and College Director for Business Development, said: “KTPs are a highly effective way of helping businesses acquire the technical and business knowledge and expertise required to develop, resulting in an improvement in performance and growth.

“For Stokers, it has enhanced the overall customer experience and boosted sales through improved digital marketing. Everyone at UCLan with involvement in the project is delighted Stokers has received national acclaim as AIS retailer of the year.”

Graham Schofield, managing director at Stokers, said: “We’re thrilled to be named furniture retailer of the year. It’s a real testament to the hard work of all our staff, which has been recognised by AIS suppliers.

“By partnering with UCLan, we’ve been able to access the required factors to help us identify and respond to industry challenges which has helped us to improve our performance.”

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme which helps businesses meet core strategic needs to enable growth. The project is partly funded by Innovate UK and the Economic and Social Research Council.

For more information on Stokers visit their official website