A PRINTING business is looking to tap into the North East’s reputation as a student hotspot and grow its sales after opening a new shop in the centre of Newcastle.
Native Print Limited has just opened its third branch on Ridley Place, in Newcastle city centre, and said that it is now hoping to open a fourth shop in Durham by the end of the year.
The firm, which was originally launched in 2001, is looking to increase its sales from £300,000 to £500,000 in two years time, with its services popular with students as well as the region’s small businesses.
The business, which is headquartered at a shop in Heaton, Newcastle, and also has a site in South Shields, provides a range of services, including business card printing, graphic design and sign printing.
It was bought out by its current management team in 2007, at which point it had a turnover of £70,000, and has since undergone a number of changes, including the introduction of a service that allows customers to submit their designs online.
It is the development of the company’s website that has helped it to expand over recent months, with much of its sales coming from business customers in London and Wales, which have been keen to take advantage of the firm’s competitive prices.
In addition to investing £30,000 in the new site, the firm is also looking to launch a number of new services by the end of the year, including T-shirt printing.
The new shop has created two jobs, taking the company’s workforce up to 10, with an extra two planned over the coming months.
Company director Dan Kane said: “Although the previous owners of the business were making a success of their one shop in Heaton, their lack of know-how in the area of digital printing and internet sales was holding them back.
“In the end they thought it better to sell the business on rather than try to learn all of the new skills necessary to take the business forward.
“Since then we have launched a site in South Shields and now a site in the centre of Newcastle, which we expect to become popular with students from both of the city’s universities.
“We have invested heavily in the virtual world of online print, however, it has to be said that the people of the North East still like to come in-store and look you in the eyes, and we’re happy to see them.”
The new branch stands on the corner of Ridley Place, complete with its very own piece of artwork, which shows a fake shop front on the John Dobson Street side of the building, giving a life size artist’s impression of the inside of the shop.