A NORTHOLT company is expecting a massive boost in sales this summer after winning a contract to sell Olympic merchandise.
Awnhill Ltd, based in the Belvue Business Centre, is one of only eight official suppliers to be selling a range of souvenirs for the London 2012 Games.
And the Olympic and Paralympic mascots that will be emblazoned on much of the merchandise have a special connection with the company. The one-eyed grey characters are named Wenlock and Mandeville - where the business is based in Northolt Mandeville ward.
Awnhill was established in 1975 by Narendra Thakrar, 64, who continues to oversee the running of the business alongside son Hiten who acts as sales director.
Hiten, 40, from Northwood, said: “We’re one of eight licensees distributing keyrings, magnets and snow storms. The others will specialise in different areas such as glassware, mugs and flags.
“It’s a lot of hard work, it’s not just getting business on a plate, but it has created a lot of opportunity for us. It’s going to boost sales by about double this year.
“And we’re now supplying to the major grocery sector including brands like John Lewis, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s. We would never have worked with these companies, it’s opened a lot of doors for us.”
The family have specialised in selling souvenirs for the past 15 years, sourcing and distributing gifts from countries including China to sell in UK tourist hot spots.
Their main clients are museums, theme parks and souvenir shops in heritage towns ranging from London to Loch Ness, Brighton and Oxford.
As stock piles up in the warehouse in Northolt to be dispatched in the run up to the Games next month, Hiten hopes the pace will continue after the summer.
“It will be a chance for a breather after the Games,” he said. “But it’s also the time to evaluate and see what we can do with our new customers. We’re not planning to slow down, we’re planning to go full steam ahead.”
Awnhill is a customer of Lloyds TSB Commercial, the official banking and insurance partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since securing the contract, the bank has provided support and guidance to enable the company to expand and by putting them in touch with new contacts.