Family clothing business wins another leading award and straddles the world

Amelie Hawkins

A family business with extensive operations across the globe was celebrating an accolade – filled year last week after being named one of the fastest growing companies in Kent.

Known to many for its shop on the High Street selling designer children’s fashion, people could be forgiven for thinking Childrensalon is simply another niche retailer.

But there is more than meets the eye at the company, which was founded over half a century ago, with an understated global reach spanning most of the continents.


And its ambitious programme of expansion has paid off, with the company becoming the world’s largest online retailer for designer children’s fashion, offering services in 24 separate languages.

This feat has not gone unnoticed by those in the business community, with the company picking up numerous awards in 2015.

Last month it came fourth in the Kent Megagrowth 50 of private firms, made the list on the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 for the 3rd year in a row, the International Track 200 and 10th place in the Profit Track 100.

Other accolades include PayPal and Drapers Etail Awards and securing an ongoing place on the London Stock Exchange “1000 Companies to Inspire Britain” list.

In the last financial year accounts are available, 2013/14, the company recorded a turnover of £20.1 million, with a pre-tax profit of £3.8 million, representing a growth rate of 253 per cent in just three years.

But the company said it had experienced growth of 50 per cent again over the past year alone and expects turnover for the financial year to be £43.3 million.

The performance has been all the more impressive as the family-owned company has never sought any outside investment.

Michele Harriman Smith, chief executive of Childrensalon and daughter of Sybil Harriman, who founded the company in 1952, said: “We are delighted to have recently achieved our position on the Kent’s Megagrowth 50 and the league table along-side our other awards.

“This is despite having our focus always on our customers and offering the best product, rather than purely financial targets.

“All the team shares our success. Their dedication and ability to embrace change, constantly learn and evolve has enabled us to remain a world leader. Every day is exciting and a pleasure.”

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