“The growth in the children’s online market has been similar to other online markets but right from the early days Childrensalon was seen as a trusted company with real family values,” explains Michelle Harriman-Smith, creative director and founder of Childrensalon, which featured on this year’s Hot 100 at number 22 as one of 13 fastest-growing retailers.“Our growth has been driven through hard work, an experienced team and large investment in all our technology and warehousing. But it seems one of their key strengths is focussing on their 60 year heritage. “Unlike, for example, ASOS who came and went as they realised their core skills were in adult fashion, we have always and only served the children’s market and our understanding of our customer’s needs have been built over many generations,” she said. “We’re passionate about serving this market, as we have done for 60 years. This sets it aside from investment led companies that are simply trying to make profit.” But to grow and move with the market, Harriman-Smith suggests that a more mobile and social online experience needs to be developed. This means keeping pace with technology. “Childrensalon is already trusted by hundreds of thousands of customers, to continue that trend we will have large ongoing investments in the latest technology. We’re dedicated to our values and loyal to our customers, so we intend to remain privately owned so that we can continue to deliver the experience that has seen Childrensalon become a tradition to many customers returning through the generations and growing with us. “Our growth is constantly leading to more advanced website, ecommerce, back office and warehousing technology. Indeed, since 1999 we have committed to over £2 million of technical developments. As we’re increasing the range of products and gaining more customers, we already have plans to provide a bigger, better website with features to challenge those used by the UK leading department stores. “In addition, we expect there will be a tendency to move away from PCs and laptops towards smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices – so in response we will develop technical solutions especially for those customers. “One aspect of our approach has been the development of http://www.theadorables.com, a world-leading innovative website aimed at allowing proud parents to share the joys of parenthood in a safe and non-competitive environment. We are working on our development plans for this at the moment.” All financial data for the Hot 100 was provided by Jordans.
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