Oldham firms create jobs with overseas expansion

Oldham firms create jobs with overseas expansion

Oldham’s furniture retailer Moda Furnishings and sister company Home Inc are to start exporting into Europe and the USA, thanks to £250,000 of support from the Greater Manchester Export Fund.

Moda Furnishings and Home Inc are owned by husband and wife team Philip and Joanne Lomax who will now use the £250k Export Fund loan to significantly expand their current operations in the US, predicting sales in excess of £4m over two years.

Moda will shortly launch its dedicated American website to sell direct to customers and also occupy a showroom in Orange County, California. The increase in export sales will also create 23 new jobs and safeguard the jobs of 25 full time employees in Oldham.

Moda Furnishings designs and sells rattan garden furniture and accessories. The furniture is made using aluminium frames and a unique synthetic product that has the look and feel of natural rattan but is fully weatherproof.

Trading online, via their 6000 sq ft store in Failsworth and a recently opened showroom in Enfield, London, Moda recently launched sister company Home Inc last year to sell uniquely designed indoor home furnishings to the trade.

The £9.5m export fund is part of Greater Manchester’s bid to become more globally competitive by helping local businesses to increase their export sales.  

Mark Hughes, chief executive of Manchester Growth Company said: “Moda is a great Manchester business that is now on the way to becoming a global success story, thanks to this first £250k loan award from the Greater Manchester Export Loan Fund.

“Philip and Joanne had already proved that there is real demand for their products, both in the US and Europe, and with the support of the GM Export Fund they now have the agility and ability to maximise those opportunities quickly and cost effectively. 

“Export has a huge role to play in driving our region’s economic prosperity and the Loan Fund is designed to support ambitious companies just like Moda, to allow them to think big, to fulfil their potential and to create the jobs and growth we need here in Greater Manchester.”

The company was joined earlier this year by Alistair Birse, who was Moda’s Nat-West bank manager up until December 2015 before leaving the bank to become a Director of Home Inc. Alistair has a wealth of experience that he brings to the company from his 32 years in banking.  

Philip Lomax said: “Being able to access the support and finance from the GM Export Fund has meant that our growth strategy has taken a huge leap forward and we are now in the process of building a very profitable and active export market.

“For businesses like ours to be able to compete on a global scale we need to be able to act quickly when opportunities arise and we fully anticipate that we will achieve total sales of over £20m to include export sales of in excess of £4m over the next two years.”