Sectors Retail, consumer and leisure
Location London, UK
Investment type Buyout
Date of investment February 2012
Investment status Current
Non-executive directors Philip Edmans

NPW

The company

NPW is the market-leading impulse giftware company, designing, sourcing and selling products to retailers in the UK, Europe and North America. NPW supplies a wide range of gifts, toiletries and ‘till-pick’ items, focusing on fast-moving consumables such as lip-balms, tissues and body care sets, as well as stationery and gadgets. NPW is also the UK’s non-bookstore distributor of Moleskin notebooks.

The business is enjoying strong growth in the UK and North America through its focus on developing partnerships with retailers (such as John Lewis in the UK and Old Navy in the US) to help them maximise their incremental revenue streams. It has significant opportunities for further expansion overseas.

Growth strategy

NPW’s founders wanted to realise some value and step back from the day-to-day running of the company. They sought an investor to help professionalise the business, provide management succession and accelerate growth, including exploring new markets at home and abroad, as well as investing in infrastructure to support the growth potential. Naturally, we saw a perfect partnership opportunity.

The Inflexion difference

We worked closely with the founders to bring in a new management team. Together we agreed roles and identified suitable candidates, introducing a highly experienced Chairman and latterly CEO and FD. And through our support office in China we helped to recruit a local compliance manager. In this way, we set about building a team commensurate with the international ambitions of the company.

We also invested in internal systems, including procurement and warehousing, and as part of the buyout we merged the US partner into the business. Drawing on our digital expertise, we worked with the team to make improvements to NPW’s digital infrastructure and operations, particularly relating to areas such as supply chain, marketing and product development.

Sales have increased, particularly in the US, and we continue to invest heavily into both front office (sale and product development) as well as back office resource.