Tuesday, January 8, 2013
AN independent retailer has dived into a major expansion after moving premises.
Keen diver Steve Webb launched Galaxsea Divers in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich,10 years ago, after deciding to ditch his civil engineering career and take the plunge with his own business.
And just as he celebrates his tenth anniversary, he has moved about 400 to 500 yards up the road to much larger premises in Hines Road, where he has taken over two thirds of Concord Media’s old film archive building.
He has refurbished the site and is now diversifying into swim equipment and swimwear sales later in the year, and some triathlon gear, as well as selling diving gear.
“We just outgrew the other premises and we had been looking for several years. We eventually found this building,” he said.
“It’s nearly three times the size and has its own car park. That gives us room to expand. These days, unless you have got a car park in our particular section of the market, people have got heavy equipment and you are not going to get the customers to come to you.”
The business offers a range of services, including first aid and other teaching, and takes diving students on courses and holidays abroad.
“We teach people to dive, which is the fun bit, and we finish off their training overseas,” said Steve, who caught the diving bug while backpacking in Australia in the early 90s.
Trading is tough, he said, but in the last year, his sales and profits have gone up.