Sunderland’s Designer Childrenswear store expands following awards success

Keely Stocker, Editor at Drapers Magazine, Greg Coade, Dionne Evans, Brenda Coade (all of Designer Childrenswear) Tim Johnson of Visualsoft and Martin Arnold, Commercial Director at Drapers.
Keely Stocker, Editor at Drapers Magazine, Greg Coade, Dionne Evans, Brenda Coade (all of Designer Childrenswear) Tim Johnson of Visualsoft and Martin Arnold, Commercial Director at Drapers.
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One of Sunderland’s leading independent retailers has beaten off stiff opposition from across the UK to scoop one of the industry’s most coveted awards.

Designer Childrenswear, which recently moved from Olive Street to Derwent Street in the city centre, has been named Multichannel Independent of the Year in the Drapers Independent Awards 2018. The awards celebrate and reward the UK’s finest independent fashion retailers in several categories.

The store has moved to larger premises in Derwent Street, Sunderland city centre

The store has moved to larger premises in Derwent Street, Sunderland city centre

Designer Childrenswear took top honours in the Multichannel category, which recognises excellence in the online side of the business and entrants must run a physical shop along with a transactional website.

The Sunderland shop, owned by husband and wife team Brenda and Kevin Coade, opened its doors in 1984 and has become one of the city’s most successful online retailers, shipping worldwide. Judges were impressed to discover its online turnover has doubled over the last 12 months, with sales booming across the UK along with territories including China, the USA and the United Arab Emirates.

“We were thrilled to be nominated and shortlisted for The Drapers Award, so winning this is a huge accolade for us,” said Dionne Evans, Ecommerce manager at Designer Childrenswear.

“We have fought off some tough competition from equally impressive independents. The multichannel category was the one we wanted to win and are ecstatic to be bringing this title to the North East. Independent retail is huge and the fashion industry is known for being one of the toughest sectors to trade in so this is such an achievement.”

The Designer Childrenswear team picked up the award at a glittering ceremony in London recently, and owner Brenda Coade believes it is testament to the hard work the team has put in behind the scenes. “We have delivered amazing brands from our store in Sunderland for more than 30 years,” she said. “Over the past five years, Designer Childrenswear has diversified dramatically, we have adapted and grown to offer a global service.”