Brenda Coade has given all 52 of her staff the day off on Monday, so they can watch Sunday night’s Italy v England Euro 2020 final in style.
The businesswoman owns Designer Childrenswear, one of the city’s most-successful retail operations, which sells nationally through its E-commerce offices in Olive Street, as well as catering for in person shoppers at its store in Derwent Street.
The award-winning shop has long been popular with Black Cat players who often buy clothes for their children from there, and the shop has been big supporters of homegrown talent Jordan Pickford and Jordan Henderson. Now, England fever has been sweeping through the store.
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Brenda said: “We’ve got a real mixture in the shop, some people are really big football fans and some aren’t as into it, but they are patriotic. England doing so well has really helped to lift the mood of the country.”
E-commerce director Dionne Evans decided to put a post on the shop’s social media platforms, where they have 150,000 followers on Facebook and 52,000 on Instagram, asking people whether the staff should have Monday off – and the result was a big yes.
Dionne said: “The success of the team, and the Jordans, is so great for Sunderland and a lot of us have kids who really look up to them. Everyone has worked so hard during the pandemic, with all the orders we’ve received online.
"Then we had to adapt to the store reopening with the restrictions, so they deserved a boost. We’ve also won awards in Lockdown and not been able to celebrate, so this is a good way of celebrating that too.”
Dionne joked: “We thought if we put it on social media there was no way Brenda could back out of giving us the day off and it means we can relax, and have a drink, without having to be up in the morning for work.”
She added: “We have a lot of engagement on our social media platforms and the vote really captured people’s imagination.”
As well as giving staff the day off, the store has also been getting creative during the Euros, using their designer clothes to create England flags and the England team crest.