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The Holding Company, an interview with Lawrence Baker
At Trade Counter Distribution, we strive to be seen as a totally dependable and trusted partner for our customers, delivering excellent value and flexible services with integrity. We have been really impressed at the ingenuity and ambition of some of our customers during the last 12 months, inspired by their growth as a result of a really well thought through digital solution for their own customer base. It has been a pleasure to support customers such as The Holding Company -- proud to be their distribution partner. Our Managing Director, Colin Bottle, spoke to The Holding Company’s CEO, Lawrence Baker, to find out more about his business and the journey they have been on over the past 12-18 months.
Good afternoon Lawrence, thank you for taking the time to speak to me. Can you start by tell us about your business?
We are the UK’s No 1 go to Storage and Organisational E-Commerce business. We have been trading for some 25 years, having started as a retail store on the Kings Road, London in 1995. We have now developed a worldwide presence through our website, which markets our entire range along with ideas and tips to organise simplify and declutter life.
What have been the greatest challenges you have faced over the last 12 months? 
Over the last 12 months there has been a surge in customer visits to our website, searching for ideas and products to help organise WFH to allow home spaces to be both tidy and functional. This has resulted in an upsurge in demand for products from all around the world. Our challenges have been in both sourcing, importing and dispatch. The initial lockdown and working restrictions created some enormous challenges in warehousing and dispatch which had to be overcome.
You have experienced enormous growth at a time when retail has largely been in decline. Why do you think this is? 
We have experienced a shift in growth during the Covid pandemic whilst multiple and independent retailers have faced closure during lockdowns. The shopping experience has changed whilst people have been unable to travel. We have been able to trade, albeit with some dispatch delay, and delivered our products as ordered!
Our core customer base is in the giftware industry so I am sure they, like me, would be keen to know what your top tips are for succeeding online? 
To succeed online it is essential for sellers to have a stable and fully transactional web platform with a simple, uncluttered UX. Marketing of products becomes a new experience from the old days of mail order catalogues.
What trends are you noticing/predicting in the home and gift industry for 2021? 
For 2021 we are noticing that several independent retailers are now becoming very innovative and either building websites or advertising in new or online marketplaces. This will continue with the uncertainty surrounding Covid. 
How important is having a distribution partner to the success of your business?
To operate efficiently in the online arena, it is imperative that customers are satisfied with your service levels. This involves being in stock of fast moving products and delivering in a timely and perfect manner. A fulfilment and distribution partner is essential to allow the business to thrive. 
What are your goals for The Holding Company in 2021? 
Plans for THC during 2021 are to enhance our range of products, building on the success of 2020 and giving customers more options when buying via our site. You have to remember that due to travel being effectively closed, the opportunity to seek new ranges is limited to the internet!
Welcome to a new world where a big re-set button has been pushed and we are all faced with new opportunities………..
Thank you for taking time out of your busy working schedule, Lawrence. It has been fascinating to hear your thoughts and congratulations on the fantastic growth of The Holding Company. I, personally, am looking forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for you and to continue to work closely with you to support your business growth.
To discover The Holding Company’s exceptional range of storage and organisational products to simplify and declutter life, visit The Holding Company's website