Expanding beyond boys toys has proved profitable for multichannel gift retailer Firebox.com
, which today announced its profits had passed the £1m milestone.
The company, set up in 1998 by university friends Michael Smith and Tom Boardman, also said revenues at the privately-owned retailer rose to £12.7m in 2009, compared to £11.4m in 2008 – despite the wider recession.
Firebox, which sells online and through mail-order, puts its success down to a significant expansion of its range beyond gadgets and games aimed at a mostly male audience. It now boasts a 50/50 ratio of male to female customers, buying products that include homewares, kitchen gadgets and gifts for children and babies.
Many of its best sellers in 2009 were aimed at women, including the Slanket and the Gelicity Spa Jelly Bath.
Managing director Christian Robinson said: “Our 2009 performance was against the backdrop of economic recession in the UK, so we are very pleased with our results. Trading so far in 2010 has been very strong, with substantial year-on-year growth. Year-on-year order volumes were up by 30% in March and again in April.”
Looking ahead, there’s set to be further expansion of the range in 2010. “Our goal,” said Robinson, "is that when any of our customers need to buy a gift for someone special they will find something amazing on Firebox.com."