Forever Sewing cutting the cloth at Onyx Retail Park

A successful online designer babywear business chose a former South Yorkshire colliery site, turned into a thriving retail park by owners Onward Holdings Ltd, to showcase its distinctive UK manufactured products to a growing client base.

Deciding to have a retail park presence so that customers could come in to touch and feel the quality of the fabrics, Forever Sewing moved into the unit on the Onyx Retail Park in August last year, and while its been continuing to trade online during the coronavirus pandemic, is preparing to reopen its doors to foot customers in July, following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The family-run company’s manufacturing facility, that did incorporate a showroom, was close to the retail park at Wath-Upon-Dearne, which made Onyx the logical choice for more salubrious surroundings than the trappings of an industrial site for clientele to visit with their toddlers and browse through handmade, off the peg products.

Counting celebrities and footballers’ wives among its customers, as well as its unique creations featuring on fashion giant Next’s website, owner, Adam Newman, said it was a no brainer staying local rather than moving his showroom to one of the bigger shopping centres.

He added: “When you have customers willing to spend up to £1,000 in a one-off purchase, we had to offer something back – Onyx provides a 100% better experience. The unit is spacious and you really get a feel of what the business is all about. It’s a lovely, busy site with great parking and very modern shops. It suited us perfectly and helps us to showcase what we do.”

Part of the retail park’s success, its at full capacity, is attributed to the variety of shops and high level of passing traffic comprising an impressive 18,000 vehicles per day, prior to lockdown. The site is also located close to a popular RSPB Nature Reserve.

Suitable for a cross-section of businesses, the Onyx Retail Park comprises 17,500 sqft of retail space and holds planning consent for A1 (retail), A2 (financial) and A3 (food). The whole site is very secure with CCTV monitoring.

Adjacent to 1,100 homes, the Onyx Retail Park is surrounded by industrial development which has resulted in the site providing many of the services needed by householders and firms in the surrounding area without the need often for even a car journey.

Site promotion is handled by Andrew Miller of Andrew Miller Chartered Surveyors, who said: “We are delighted to accommodate Forever Sewing, a successful online and local business that sees the benefits of having a retail park presence.”

In addition to retail facilities, Onward Holdings offers a range of logistics options to suit most budgets, together with additional value-added warehouse services. The different facilities that the company can supply will help businesses gain a vital foothold in the northern supply chain.