Sunderland e-commerce firm expands into new headquarters

A growing Sunderland e-commerce business is making its second move into larger premises in just four years to cope with demand

A growing Sunderland e-commerce business is making its second move into larger premises in just four years to cope with demand.

Variety.co.uk, which sells a huge range of items from home and garden furnishings to sports and games equipment, is moving from its current offices at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in Sunderland to a larger unit on the same site.

The company began trading four years ago in an incubator unit at the BIC and now has seven staff, with plans to recruit another two people following the move.

It is also aiming to increase its current expansion rate of at least 30% a year to reach the £2m turnover landmark.

Entrepreneur John Orr, who founded Variety, said: “We are moving to bigger premises to accommodate more storage space and more staff in customer services, accounts and administration.

“We are always looking to expand into different product sectors and countries worldwide. E-commerce is becoming more and more popular and with 90,000-plus products already for sale we intend to be at the forefront in our sector.

“When you look at our counterparts in America they are floating on the stock exchange. Our aim is to have that happen here as well. That same growth is already happening here.”

The company sources its products from suppliers around the country and then sends them all over the UK,

John, who is Sunderland born and bred, previously ran a business which designed a fold-up motorbike that could fit into a car boot. He was supported by Sunderland entrepreneur Sir Peter Vardy who continues to mentor him.

He has also been strongly supported by Sunderland City Council, which provided advice and guidance to help with Variety’s move into larger premises.

“The City Council helped out when we initially expanded and has helped us again,” said John.

“I’ve found them helpful to entrepreneurs, both as a younger person starting a business and as an established business owner.”

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