November 2019

How one Hull business is defying the doom-mongers and expanding
into Europe.

The Leather Repair Company, headquartered in Hull, is expanding its operations into
Europe. A new office in Belgium opened earlier in 2019. And there are plans for offices
in Germany and Holland, followed by Poland and Russia.

But with Brexit on the horizon, shouldn’t businesses be cautious about European

Not so, according to Richard Hutchins, The Leather Repair Company’s charismatic
managing director, who’s fed up with the doom and gloom surrounding the UK’s
imminent departure from the EU.

“Come out. Stay in. We’re expanding come what may,” says Hutchins. “Too many
businesses are focusing on what may or may not happen. They should be focusing on
their business instead. My advice to businesses? Make the best of the situation and
carry on.”

The Leather Repair Company has offices throughout the UK and offers a leather repair
service for everything from leather jackets and trousers to leather sofas and car
interiors. Home visits are carried out by leather repair technicians who are franchisees
working for themselves.

Hutchins plans to repeat this business model throughout Europe.

Restorers ltd, Unit 22, Argyle Street Factory
Estate, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU3 1HD, England
Tel: 03333 448 418
help@lrcuk.com www.leatherrpaircompany.com

“We’re really careful about who we award franchises to. Franchisees must be full of
character, trustworthy, have a sense of humour and be able to get on with people.
They’re going into people’s homes, so they need to be personable.”

Franchisees follow a rigorous training programme before becoming qualified as
technicians. There are currently 19 people going through the programme in Belgium,
with attendees from across Europe.

“We want to provide training for local people and create jobs in the area,” says

Have there been any challenges so far? “Not at all,” says Hutchins. “Language hasn’t
been an issue. I speak a little French and can understand a smattering of German.
And the staff in our Brussels office speak English. Our only challenge is keeping up
with all the work. These days people are keen to repair and restore rather than throw
away. And that’s good for business.”

So are there plans to go further afield? “Absolutely. We’re booked into a number of US
trade shows in 2020 and we have plans to open an office in Orlando, Florida.”

For this successful East Yorkshire firm, it’s a “b*llox to Brexit” approach according to
Hutchins, and full steam ahead with expansion plans.

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