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Branded Items Group varies offering during coronavirus shutdown

Branded Items Group varies offering during coronavirus shutdown

TWO months ago a phone call came into The Branded Items Group office, requesting they “put on hold” a large merchandise order.

It was the start of several orders put on hold as the merchandise industry started to feel the bite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The multi award-winning promotions and merchandise company, based at Alexandra Business Park on Prescot Road, has enjoyed a successful 12 months.

The Star reported last year when the firm, run by a husband and wife team, was named North West Family Business of the Year at the E3 Business Awards held at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Director Steve Fairhurst said: “It was clear merchandise was going to be impacted.

"Our industry works heavily with events, exhibitions and hospitality which are all badly affected, so we knew we would need to think out of the box a little.”

With extensive trade factory contacts, the directors at BIG initially looked at supplying alcohol-based hand sanitisers to the market.

Steve added: “In week one of lockdown, I was shocked at the prices hand-sanitisers were being sold for in stores and online. As a company that sold branded sanitiser pre-COVID-19, we thought if we could secure supply and sell at a sensible price, we could replace some lost merchandise revenue and also secure some goodwill with local companies.

"Securing a supply of the product at sensible pricing was initially incredibly difficult. We had a number of calls with factories across three continents, but over the coming weeks we managed to secure trade deals with factories Europe and the UK.

During April, Branded Items Group managed to win several new customers by selling hand sanitisers, including securing business from a national logistics company working on frontline deliveries.

In recent weeks, Branded Items Group have further expanded their product range to help companies get back to work safely, selling washable branded facemasks, visors and sanitizer dispensers as well anti-bacterial mouse mats, pens, mugs and bottles.

St Helens Star:

Steve and Louise at the awards last year

Fellow director Louise Fairhurst added: “The whole period has taken us right out of our comfort zone, but the factories we work with have been very adaptable and proactive in making the right products available. It has been really challenging and although our traditional market as slowed down, ironically last week we managed to secure a record order for merchandise.

"There are opportunities out there and while some of our competitors closed their doors, we have worked all hours to ensure we adapt and trade out of the current situation.”

For more information on The Branded Items Group call 01744 808383 or email

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