A North East firm has capped its busiest year yet by winning a sting of new store fit-out projects with the UK and Irelands foremost fashion footwear retailer Schuh. These recent successes see Aptus working with Schuh to deliver their new concept stores and are expected to generate in excess of £2m in sales for Aptus over the next twelve months.
Newcastle-based Aptus Shopfitting, which was formed in 2007 and specialises in commercial fit-outs and refurbishments, is working on the UK-wide launch of the retailer’s new concept stores.
Schuh is in the process of rolling out a new cash desk free store design – that taps into digital technologies and mobile device usage – across its portfolio of locations. Aptus has been named a preferred main contractor to the chain and is currently working on delivering new stores in both London and Wales, with several more UK sites expected to follow over the coming year.
The Tyneside firm conservatively estimates that working with Schuh will generate at least £2m of turnover in the next 12 months.
The contract is the latest in a string of new deals for Aptus, having won work from a number of major brands in recent months including the delivery of a JD Sports flagship store at the new Westfield Shopping Centre in Bradford.
Other recent contracts include commissions for fit-outs of a Pizza Express restaurant in Manchester and a new Lush in London. Retailers Sports Direct and Majestic Wines, as well as Northumbria University, have also been added to Aptus’s customer base in the second half of 2015. The firm has also enjoyed several wins in the office sector this year, including the transformation of software firm Bede Gaming’s new HQ at Newcastle Great Park.
Commercial director and co-founder Chris Price said: “We’ve seen a real pickup in retail activity this year, as the economy has strengthened and consumer spending has risen. We are well placed to take advantage and are already on track for the busiest year in our company’s history, with turnover likely to be 75% up on last year.
“We’re also seeing more confidence in the business community and, as companies invest in more staff, they are also more willing to spend on creating better workspaces.”
Aptus employs around 20 permanent staff and supports the jobs of many more largely North East-based contractors, including joiners, plumbers and electricians.
Alongside retailers, leisure firms, healthcare organisations and employers, it works jointly on projects with architects, designers, surveyors and property consultants and is always on the lookout for new architects and designers to partner with in delivering projects.
Chris Price formally ran a chain of hairdressers but, after shopfitters Ian Hartshore and Phil Swinhoe transformed one of his salons, he was so taken back by the construction process of a fast paced high end fit-out that he decided to go into business with them.
Chris sold his business and the trio became the founding directors of Aptus in 2007. Today the company is based at Hoults Yard, in the Ouseburn area of Newcastle.