W. Bruford is a chain of retail jewellery shops operating on the south coast. Business owner Ashley Pugh joined as general manager in 2001 and then led an MBO in 2003. He expanded the business to two shops in 2009 and added the third unit, a Pandora franchised store, in 2014. When Ashley joined, turnover was at £1m a year. Through his drive, turnover has risen to over £5m.
Retail - specialist stores
Despite being an incredibly well-established, and very successful, local business, W. Bruford were under pressure to refinance by their long-term bank. They approached ThinCats to refinance three existing loans, with plans to develop their current sites, expand into new premises, and take advantage of positive developments in the industry.
Ashley described the process: “It was quite a bit of effort getting the deal over the line, but ThinCats’ people were good: they meant what they said, and our solicitors were very happy with the paper work – there was no ambiguity. It was more straightforward than dealing with a high-street bank.”
We were looking to refinance, because of pressure from our existing lender, a mainstream bank. We had been with them for 17 years, had never breached a covenant, but obviously their lending criteria had changed. They no longer seemed to want our business.