Investment creates scores of jobs at one of Gloucestershire’s oldest firms

One hundred and sixty-year-old family firm Gardiner Bros & Co (Leathers) Ltd has tripled the size of its business premises, created 50-plus new jobs and increased turnover by more than 70 per cent in three years – and is still looking for 22 more staff.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Mark Holloway, Ash Kapoor and Ben Gardiner at one of the new Gardiner warehouses at St Modwen Park, near Junction 12 of the M5.

A move into new premises has laid bare a virtuous circle of spiralling growth, investment and impressive job creation at a Gloucester family business that began life as a humble tannery in the city’s Alvin Street in 1860.

Today, footwear and workwear specialists Gardiner Bros & Co (Leathers) Ltd is unrecognisable from its humble beginnings, and has just unveiled a near-tripling of its warehouse space on Modwen Park Gloucester business park to 230,000 square feet to accommodate a growing demand.

An investment in online retail has also helped it increase its market share, with sales growing by 15 per cent in 2019, 20 per cent in 2020 and 35 per cent in 2021, resulting in 50 new jobs – and more to come in a workforce already 300-strong.

Tiffany Smith, head of talent acquisition at the fifth-generation family firm, which is also a major distributor of well-known footwear brands, said: ‘The growth in business in 2022 has meant that we have had 52 new starters across the office and warehouse functions.

‘This has been new roles, including IT and marketing directors and various analyst roles, alongside growing existing teams in the warehouse, customer services and buying.

‘As well as this growth, we still have 22 open roles across various functions.’

Gardiners said the increase in the number of high-profile brands it now distributes had been a key growth driver.

Those brands include Hush Puppies, Caterpillar, Skechers, Muck Boot, Hunter and Base London, with Hard Yakka and Dickies joining that list in 2022 and the firm expected to distribute 2.8 million items this year.

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