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28.02.05
Cornish leisurewear chain is the 1000th standard recognition

A family-run chain of leisurewear stores in Cornwall is celebrating after being named the 1000th business in the region to be recognised as an Investor in People.

For Wildlife, which employs a staff of 47 at its six stores across Cornwall, this is the latest in a long list of awards and accolades the family run business has picked up in the last 12 months including winning the prestigious Orange Best Family Business Award 2004 and its online shopping facility, www.wildlifeonline.com, being named runner up in the Sage & The Daily Telegraph Business Awards for Best Website.

Jointly owned and run by brothers David, Neil and Leigh Chadwick, Wildlife has benefited from ongoing support and advice from Business Link Devon and Cornwall since 2002. A year later Wildlife committed to the Investors in People Standard, seeking to refine its systems of training and communication in order to manage its rapid growth more effectively. This has resulted in achieving a range of efficiencies and cost savings.

Rhona Hope Business Link's Workforce Development Manager comments: "Wildlife is Cornwall and Devon's 1000th business or organisation to achieve the Investors in People Standard. The Standard was started in 1990 to enhance an organisation's performance through its people. It has made a significant impact as it helps focus all staff on the business or organisations objectives and recognises their contribution to the workplace."

"We are delighted to have been successfully assessed against the Investors in People Standard and to be the 1000th recognition is a great honour,"commented Director David Chadwick. "The whole process has been hugely important to us. It has focused our efforts on the people side of things and the business is more efficiently managed. Staff share knowledge and skills and have a better idea of their role in the success of the business. Investors in People has proved to be a useful working tool for managing growth and for progressing the business still further."

Founded in Penzance by Don Chadwick in 1981 as General Clothing Stores, the business has evolved and expanded considerably over the past five years from its original core business of work-wear and government surplus clothing.

Director Leigh Chadwick ultimately puts Wildlife's success and recent accolades down to its people: "We take great pride in everything we do and are obsessed by quality, we have to be, the Chadwick family name and reputation hangs above every shop door! Our staffs are critical to this and we are totally committed to developing a strong team, training and employee career development. We would like to thank all our staff for their hard work and support."

Business Link, which receives investment from Objective One, has provided an extensive range of information, advice and support. This has included the assistance of a Business Link Personal Business Adviser Dick Stead and drafting in the specialist IT know how of Mike Robertson from Business Link's partner network. As a result Wildlife has achieved a threefold increase in its sales whilst more than quadrupling its staff over the past five years.

Dick has helped introduce a programme of management development and brokered in the necessary skills to help Wildlife develop its own 'seasalt' brand of organic leisurewear, IT and common systems for all six stores in areas such as recruitment, display of goods and customer care.

Dick Stead comments, "Wildlife is one of the fastest growing retail outlets in the South West and it has been a pleasure to work with such professional and committed people. In the last two years I have been able to identify the right people at the right time to assist in the growth of the business. Business Link has recently carried out a successful 3 day strategy workshop with all the management team that should keep Wildlife's expansion plans on course for the foreseeable future."

Wildlife now boasts stores in Penzance, Falmouth, St Ives, Truro, Fowey and Padstow plus its online shop which bring together major brands from Europe and the United States to offer leisurewear, footwear and accessories for "people with active lifestyles".

For further information please contact Carolyn Daw on 01822 833488.

Business Link Devon and Cornwall has received Objective One investment in order to provide advice and support for new and existing businesses throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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Editor's notes:

For further press information about Business Link and Investors in People please contact Carolyn Daw, press officer, on 01822 833488. For further information about wildlife, please contact David Chadwick on 01736 352030.

Investors in People is the national quality Standard awarded to organisations that have been able to link their organisational aims with the way in which their people have been developed and have tangible results to show for it.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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