As we near the end of 2021, I look back on what started as a very challenging year with the pandemic and national lockdown, but is ending as the most successful year in our company’s history.
We started the year still navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the country in lockdown, many businesses such as ours had to adapt their working patterns and business model. We had some of our employees on furlough with the biggest challenge we faced being importing stock from China.
There were exceptionally long lead times, almost double previous times, impacting our ability to deliver stock and potentially effecting our customers’ project deadlines. In addition to this, steep rising and inflated shipping costs led to us being in a situation where costs either had to be passed on to our customers or absorbed by the business. With already tough financial circumstances, I knew that we had to find an alternative European based manufacturing partner.
In summer, as the UK came out of lockdown, we started seeing a strong pick up in business, with us achieving in July, our single biggest revenue month in our history. This was achieved by exceptional hard work and commitment from all our staff. I continued to work with my team on solving the issue of delayed imports from China. In August, we announced our partnership with Modern Expo, as their official UK and Ireland distributor.
Based in Ukraine with distribution centres across Europe, partnering with Modern Expo was designed to benefit our customers by providing access to fast, reliable 24–48-hour order turnarounds. We were also looking to the future as an organisation, and Modern Expo’s broad range of high quality and innovative retail solutions would allow for wider market opportunities and growth for our customers.
The second half of the year saw continued growth as the retail sector and economy started to rebound and the benefits of our Modern Expo partnership took hold. In October, we onboarded a record twenty-seven new customers in a single month. This along with the on-going loyal support from our existing customers and partners helped us drive historic sales growth month on month. As we grew as a business, our Nabco team also grew with additions to our operations, sales order process, finance and warehouse teams.
Last month saw the retirement of our Founder and Managing Director Nigel Bass, and the announcement of a new management team led by myself as Nabco’s Managing Director. This is a new beginning for Nabco .
2022 will see some new, exciting changes and announcements from us. Watch this space! My goal for the coming year as Managing Director is for us to continue providing first class retail products and solutions. This will be accompanied by the outstanding and industry leading customer service and support we are known for.
We will work with and support our customers and partners to create new market opportunities to grow their business through our partnership with Modern Expo. The retail landscape is changing, and we aim to provide a range of high-quality retail solutions that will allow the creation of modern retail displays and environments.
I want to conclude by offering my sincere thanks to you to all our customers. We wouldn’t have enjoyed the success we’ve had without you. Thank you for believing in us and your continued support. I also want to specially mention and thank our partners and employees, for your support, hard work and dedication this year. We look forward to continuing our successful association in the new year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.