Town centre store is winter ready thanks to grant
An independent menswear retailer in Nuneaton has been kitted out for all seasons after it received grant funding from Warwickshire County Council to install a new eco-friendly climate control system.
Men’s Lobby, which has sold high-quality men’s clothing and footwear in Nuneaton since 1995, has been outfitted with an all-purpose hot/cold system ready for both icy winter months and warm summer days.
The premises on Stratford Street in the town centre, which used to be a fishmonger’s, has been without a thermal system since Men’s Lobby took it over 12 years ago.
Now, Dilip Parmar, owner of Men’s Lobby, is looking to provide a premium service throughout the year as he welcomes the return of pre-pandemic business and hopes to attract new clients.
The business, which stocks designer brands such as Lacoste, Replay, and Lyle & Scott, was closed for four months during the pandemic, and Dilip wanted to find a way to encourage more foot traffic to his store once restrictions were lifted.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub engaged with the business and identified that it had been negatively effected by the pandemic.
Dilip was then referred to Warwickshire County Councils Survive, Sustain and grow programme to receive support in creating a recovery plan to help the business adjust to post pandemic conditions, with a new heating system identified as a way to restore footfall into the shop.
He was then able to purchase the new equipment after applying for grant funding as part of the programme, with the in-store shopping experience a key part of the application.
He said: “There was no heating system whatsoever before we received this grant, and we would not have been able to finance new equipment without support.
“System now up and running and we are definitely feeling the benefits as the weather turns cold, but it will also be extremely useful in the summer when our customers can keep cool whilst browsing our collections.
“It’s the best of both worlds for us because at the same time as we look to boost our online presence, we are now able to offer a premium in-store shopping experience, and for that we are extremely grateful to the Growth Hub and Warwickshire County Council for working with us to make this happen.”
The Survive, Sustain and Grow programme helped 243 businesses in a range of sectors, supporting 798 jobs and helping safeguard 472 jobs which were at risk.
The programme, which has now closed, was open to small Warwickshire businesses primarily in the retail, tourism and hospitality sector.
Cllr Kam Kaur, portfolio holder for economy and place at Warwickshire County Council, added: “I have been delighted at the breadth of support that the Survive, Sustain and Grow scheme has been able to provide.
“This seems such a straightforward request but without heat, the shop is not a place where you could do business over the winter months.
“As Dilip says, the business could not have managed the outlay without some support. Getting in contact with the team at the council who work on Survive, Sustain and Grow might well have been key to the business not only surviving the hardships that the pandemic brought but also prospering beyond it.”
Adam Plumb, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “All businesses face their own unique challenges to get back up to speed after the pandemic, and part of our service is to put business owners in touch with the people best suited to helping them succeed.
“We are delighted that we were able to point Men’s Lobby in the right direction to support the recovery and growth of Dilip’s business.”
To read about other businesses who benefitted from the SSG programme visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/SSG
For more information about the CWLEP Growth Hub visit www.cwgrowthhub.co.uk
To view Men’s Lobby’s latest offers, visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/menslobby