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RECORD SALES AT STRATFORD- UPON AVON ONLINE RETAILER AS SHOPPERS ABANDON HIGH STREET

COVID-19 has rapidly accelerated the growth of online retail – and is set to change the face of our high streets forever.

But rather than mourning the losses, it’s time to seize and celebrate the vast opportunities for business growth.

That’s the message from one of the UK’s fastest growing online retailers – a company which has risen to the challenge of ‘unprecedented demand’ during the Coronavirus pandemic and seen its sales skyrocket.

Sixty Stores Ltd is a multi-channel e-commerce retailer based in Stratford upon Avon, running sites including Sheds.co.uk, Minifridge.co.uk, Personalise.co.uk and Rattangardenfurniture.co.uk.

The surge in demand for garden buildings, home offices, home gyms and garden makeovers saw the company record a huge 113 per cent increase in sales between March and June this year, reaching £15.3 million.

That figure was more than double the £7.1million in sales recorded for the same four-month period in 2019.

It is evidence of the rapid acceleration of ecommerce driven by Covid-19 and the decline of the high street.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that in May online sales accounted for a record 33.3 per cent of all retail.

But, according to Sixty Stores Ltd, our shopping habits were already shifting and aren’t expected to revert back to the high street even post-pandemic.

Company Director William Letterese says: “Our high streets already look vastly different to the way they did a decade ago and news of store closures from retail giants like John Lewis and Boots are further evidence of a really significant and long-lasting shift in the way we shop”.

“Covid-19 has rapidly accelerated a change that was already underway”
“And while it’s undoubtedly heralding a difficult and challenging period for many, our success and the success of the UK’s ecommerce industry show it’s not all bad news for jobs or the economy.

“The demand for retail remains high – and it’s about seizing that opportunity now.”

Sixty Stores Ltd is on track for a record annual turnover of £23 million this year.

“As soon as we entered lockdown, consumers who wouldn’t usually shop online were left with no alternative,” Mr Letterese added.
“And that signals a big change going forward – the fact that people who were previously perhaps wary of doing things like banking or shopping online, have now seen the benefits.

“We quickly saw unprecedented demand across our ecommerce stores, particularly in the home and garden sector, with a surge in sales for summerhouses, sheds, home offices, home gyms, home refrigeration and garden furniture. It has undoubtedly been challenging at times, but we have a great team, which we look forward to expanding as business continues to grow.”

Sixty Stores Ltd, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, was established in 2011 with the primary focus of creating a group of market leading online retail sites. The aim now is to increase product ranges and expand further into the garden and home markets.

Sixty Stores Ltd was founded by Will Letterese, Ben Styles and Adrian Styles. Coming from an online marketing and web development background, they recognised the value of generic domain names and established the company with the primary focus of creating a group of online retail sites which utilised premium domain names as “brands”.

For more information and to view the Sixty Stores Ltd portfolio of brands and stores visit www.sixty.co.uk

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COVID-19 sucks, but charity record don’t need to… in aid of NHS’s Royal Medical Benevolent Fund


Released on Monday (6th April 2020 ) was a charity record in aid of the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund – a charity who support medical staff and their families in a time of crisis. This is a time of crisis.

The song; Home (City of Dreaming Spires) was recorded by #1 producer George Shilling, who has worked with the likes of Blur, Frank Turner, Yazz, Teenage Fanclub, and Suede’s Bernard Butler. It is written and performed by the Oxford based 3-piece band ‘The Ideas’.

The video features a live recording of the band from their separate homes, in current COVID-19 isolation.

The lyrics, although written last year, are uncanny in their representation of the current circumstances, “Take me to Rome, take me anywhere, just take me home. From the city on fire, to the City of Dreaming Spires, take me home…” – “You can’t run, from the places you love, no matter how obscene, or how serene…”
All proceeds from this incredibly uplifting record will go
directly to the charity.

The Ideas, wear their influences on their sleeves, with obvious references to other Oxford bands like ‘Ride’ and ‘Radiohead’, as well as other notable rockers like ‘The National’ and ‘David Bowie’.

The band said “We’re so happy to be able to help this great charity. Many of us are at home feeling helpless, we just wanted to get up off the sofa and do something…

Both the Ideas and the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund ask for as many people as possible to share this charity release online as possible to enable them to raise important funds at this time.

It is a fantastic record and a fantastic cause.

The UK’s doctors and even medical students will be in dire need of support, during and after the COVID-19 outbreak. They are on the frontline saving lives, whilst potentially risking their own.

Please share content about this record where possible – thank you, it is appreciated. Help us make this uplifting record the soundtrack of 2020. Remember: COVID-19 sucks, but charity records don’t have to…

The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund was formed in 1836. Their Patron is Her Majesty The Queen. Find out more via https://rmbf.org/about

The Ideas are from Oxford. They are Gary S Creigh, Steve Hare and Nick Aspey. Find them on social media via @theideasband or at www.covidsucks.co.uk

Contact Details
Claire Arnott
carnott@rmbf.org
Or, press@covidsucks.co.uk
Media enquiries via 07527317245

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WPO completes its €600,000 bond issue in record time


A new record was set for the financing of energy transition related projects. Launched on 15 January 2020, WPO’s bond issue reached its target in less than 24 hours. The bond issue was met with unprecedented enthusiasm on the crowdlending platform Lendosphere.

A record setting bond issue for the digital energy transition

On 15 January 2020, WPO, a French leading multi-national platform for the management of third-party wind and solar assets in Europe, launched a bond issue open to all, including individuals, to pre-finance a new energy transition model, based on the collection and processing of energy data. This new model, which can reduce the cost of green energy and make its production more reliable, has convinced 466 investors in less than 24 hours.

“We are thrilled to witness such enthusiasm for our digital energy transition project, this is a testimony to the willingness of citizens to be part of the change for a greener future. We know the response to the climate emergency cannot only come from governments, it is also for businesses and citizens to take the lead by proposing and supporting innovative initiatives and solutions.” Barthélémy Rouer, Founder of WPO.

Set at €600 000 the target was met in 23 hours, a record setting success for Lendosphere, France’s leading crowdfunding platform for paid loans dedicated to the energy transition.

“WPO’s business model is different from the other projects on Lendosphere but the ambition of this project appealed to the investors in an unprecedented way. This accomplishment underlines the relevance of our action and the growing interest of the citizens to participate in the energy transition. “ Amaury Blais, President of Lendosphère

An energy transition model based on data

The digitalization of the management of wind and solar farms allows the collection in real time of large amounts of data related to the operation of these infrastructures: electrical data (power, intensity, frequency…), mechanical data (temperature, vibration, noise…), meteorological data (wind speed, atmospheric pressure, radiation, etc.) and others.

Intelligent processing of this data has a threefold advantage:

Reduces costs through the automation of multiple control and management functions
Maximizes green energy production through the early detection and anticipation of anomalies on facilities
Increases Transparency by certifying green energy production and making this data available to the general public, institutions and professionals.

This virtuous cycle benefits both the producer who optimizes its facilities, and the general public who is now able to evaluate and verify the progress of the energy transition through reliable access to live data as it happens in real time.

The bond issue will allow WPO to deploy the most effective means to increase its data portal and enhance its value through artificial intelligence. To do this, private certificates of renewable energy production, called GoCerts , will be created in real time, registered and transferred by a shared electronic registration device (“Distributed Ledger Technology”).

About WPO :
Established in 2008, WPO is a leader in independent asset management and associated specialized services for wind and solar power in Europe. The company oversees 600 production sites in 10 European countries with a capacity of more than 5 gigawatts, i.e. 1700 wind turbines and 12 million photovoltaic modules. Today, WPO contributes to the production of electricity from renewable sources for the equivalent of about two million people, almost the population of intramural Paris. It offers technical, commercial and financial management solutions, and holds among its clients and stakeholders more than 360 companies, including investment funds, insurers, reinsurers, developers, banks, mixed economy companies and independent electricity producers. In a world where energy management is becoming increasingly decentralized and complex, WPO’s main objective is to ensure energy sustainability and create the conditions for greater trust through issuing the first energy production certificates from reliable and traceable renewable sources on the world market. WPO is listed on the Financial Times FT1000 2017 as one of Europe’s 1000 Fastest Growing Companies.

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