A FAST-GROWING interiors company is investing £40,000 in a new e-commerce platform as lockdowns spark increased interest from customers.

Richard Grafton Interiors is continuing to expand with the launch of a brand new online platform that aims to offer all the items available in its Harrogate, Ilkley and Wetherby showrooms to designers and homeowners in the rest of the UK.

The new e-commerce site, designed and built by Thynne Creative in Ilkley, has been project managed by Charlotte Grafton, the company’s brand manager. Charlotte, 26, returned to Yorkshire from London to work in the family business 12 months ago, having gained retail experience working as a buyer for Harrods.

“With the physical stores continuing to thrive, enhancing our online offering and creating an e-commerce platform was the natural next step,” she said.

“Not only have we taken the opportunity to freshen up the website, we also wanted to give customers the option of shopping with us remotely, giving them the feel of being in one of our stylish showrooms from the comfort of their own home.”

Managing director Richard Grafton added: “Following the initial lockdown, we saw a marked increase in interest in interiors with so many more people either working remotely, or simply spending a greater amount of time at home. Once the showrooms were able to re-open in July, we enjoyed a really busy summer but realised we needed to accelerate our plans for an online shop in the face of possible further lockdowns.

“We’ve pulled out all the stops to deliver the project ahead of schedule and we’re really pleased that our virtual fourth showroom is up-and-running in time for customers to do their Christmas shopping. A select choice of Christmas decorations and gifts is available online, taking away the worry of whether or not shops re-open in December.”

Established eight years ago, the interiors, architecture and design business now employs 21 staff, including 12 designers. In June, it opened a new showroom in Wetherby.