Harry Wallop features Lakeland in an article in the Daily Telegraph titled “Shopping Mecca fro Middle Britain”. The surprise is the news that that Father Rayner, the founder, ran off with the company secretary and the three brothers took over and built the business. The other surprise that the Lakeland’s HQ at Windermere station is the second most popular tourist attraction after Windermere Lake cruises with more than one million visitors. I guess that they were ahead of the Apple shops with the emphasis on customer fun rather than pressured sales.
One of my first jobs was counting plastic bags at what was then Lakeland Plastic. My late Sister was so much faster that I had to count another product and staple them together. I remember surprising Mr Rayner by saying I knew how many I had stapled by counting the number of staples in each set of staples which I inserted into the machine. When I wrote to the Rayner brothers to remind them of the fact that I had been a neighbour and early employee I received an impersonal reply. Maybe they did not wish to be reminded of the early days with their Father.
Now the three brothers are coming to the end of their working time, I wonder what business plan resource they are using to make sure the equity stays in the family. The HQ is a brilliant – wish a picture appeared in Zemanta – and I am sure they will have a business plan as clever as their wonderful products. By the way, Wendy Miranda is the customer ambassador and ultimately in charge of what the retailer sells – clever lady.