Tinsel manufacturer eyes glittery future with £3m funding

Posted on 11 Dec 2023 by The Manufacturer

A Cwmbran-based Tinsel manufacturer and Christmas decoration wholesaler is ramping up for the festive season with the support of a flexible £3m working capital package from Lloyds Bank. 

Festive Productions Limited is the UK’s number one manufacturer of British made tinsel and has, at peak, produced 15 million meters of the holiday garland each year – enough tinsel to cover the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree more than 1.4 million times.

The business also sells a range of more than 8,000 trees, lights and decorations to independent shops, supermarkets and garden centres. Every October, the firm also opens a Christmas shop next to its manufacturing facility for local residents in Cwmbran and the surrounding area.

The funding from Lloyds Bank helps to support the business during its Christmas trading period, as well as to purchase wholesale stock and make seasonal manufacturing hires to meet production demand during the first half of the year.

Festive Productions Limited makes an additional 30 hires to support the manufacturing side of the business from January to June. These employees are essential to increase efficiency and production output in the first seasonal peak. The funding also helps Festive Productions make an additional twenty hires in the latter months of the year, to run its onsite pop-up Christmas shop.

When lockdown restrictions began to ease during the Covid-19 pandemic, the business invited wholesale clients to its showrooms while trade shows remained cancelled. This allowed the firm to exhibit its entire offering – that customers might not otherwise see due to restrictions – resulting in a significant boost to sales and turnover climbing past pre-pandemic levels. The funding from the bank helped the firm to fulfil these much larger orders, which are placed by customers during Q1, and imported and paid for during the following Summer and Autumn.

Justin Watkins, chief financial officer at Festive Productions Limited, said: “The funding from Lloyds Bank is fundamental in helping us grow the business and stay competitive in the market. Taking on seasonal hires is a key part of this, as we’re able to easily adapt during peak trading and manufacturing periods.

“We prepare for three Christmases concurrently which helps us stay ahead of the game. In October we sent our design and purchase teams out to the Canton Fair in China to bring back themes and ideas we can use to prepare for Christmas 2025.  Again, this is only possible with the support from the bank which ensures we’re always able to meet orders efficiently and accurately, while preparing for the next two years.”

The business is also working to become more sustainable, with 2,000 solar panels installed on the roof of its manufacturing and warehouse facilities to help offset supply chain emissions. Many of the baubles its sells are also made from recycled plastic, and it has recently introduced glass baubles to its range, as well as growing the number of paper decorations on offer.

Justin added: “We know the importance of integrating sustainable practices to stay relevant in the future of Christmas decoration production. As well as introducing more glass and paper decorations and investing in solar panels, we’ve also been in conversations with many of our suppliers to help reduce plastic – and glitter – in the supply chain.”

Looking to the future, the business is planning to branch out its wholesale offerings to additional holidays like Halloween and Easter, as well as launching a new range of year-round décor.

Paul Williams, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “We’re proud to be able to support businesses like Festive Productions Limited as they look to improve their trading prospects and grow their businesses.

“Christmas is an ultra-competitive niche and Festive Productions’ business plan allows them to remain ahead of the curve. They are now going one step further by expanding the business’ wholesale repertoire to include new holiday celebrations and a range of everyday homeware products, to help them thrive outside of seasonal peaks. We’ll remain by the side of Festive Productions Limited to encourage and support them in this endeavour.”

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