Online and multichannel businesses among winners of the Queen's Award for Enterprise
Séraphine, favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge, is among today's winners of the Queen's Award for Enterprise.
The maternity wear retailer, founded by Cécile Reinaud (pictured)
, sells through three UK stores, with a fourth to open in Leeds in May, as well as online to 30 countries through seraphine.com. Internationally the company, which turns over more than £11m and saw 35% growth in the last year, works with distributors including Nordstrom and opened a flagship New York store in November. It made headlines when the Duchess of Cambridge wore a Séraphine dress in the first offical portrait of Prince George. During her second pregnancy, the Duchess also been pictured wearing its clothes
"It is a huge honour to receive this award and a tribute to how Britain nurtures and encourages entrepreneurship and international trade," said Reinaud. "I was born and raised in France but the United Kingdom is where I chose to build my business because it's the European country that has the most international outlook and a unique open-minded business culture."
The award also went to multichannel shoe manufacturer and retailer Hotter
, which makes a pair of shoes every 20 seconds in its Lancashire factory and sells them online at home and around the world, through more than 75 UK stores and one in South Africa. The company is celebrating today with an online event to mark its award.
"We're delighted to have won this recognition for our outstanding success in international trade which has seen our export earnings grow by over 123% in the last three years as we have developed the Hotter brand in markets such as the USA, the Middle East and South Africa," said managing director Peter Taylor.
He added: "From our headquarters in Lancashire we design, develop and manufacture shoes for our global markets, ship over two million pairs of shoes around the world each year and support our customers with a dedicated call centre and personal shopping service that works across multiple time zones."
Meanwhile, DPD won an award for its in-house developed Predict one-hour delivery service which, says the delivery company, has been directly responsible for new business wins worth £178m and has helped drive growth at the business that includes the creation of 2,000 jobs and the expansion of its delivery network.
"Our strategy all along has been based on investing in technology, people and service to create the best delivery experience possible for our customers," said DPD chief executive Dwain McDonald.
"That passion for innovation and our obsession with customer service really come together around Predict. I'm incredibly proud of what we have been able to do in the last five years in terms of UK jobs, wealth creation and growth. Creating over 1,000 new jobs a year off the back of a recession and a prolonged economic downturn is a hell of an achievement, and we aren't done yet! 2015 is set to be our biggest year so far, with the opening of our fourth sorting hub which will give us capacity to grow our business even further."