Case study

Clothing distributor eases cashflow pressures and accesses growth with Trade Finance


Previously a buyer in the fashion industry, Vintage Heir founder Fiona Bell created her own company a few years ago when she partnered with a designer to produce, import, and distribute a popular line of pyjamas sold to the likes of John Lewis and TK Maxx.

Having found a great supplier in India, Fiona needed a quick and simple cashflow solution to help ease the pressures of their required payment schedule. With payment due once the goods were ready to leave the factory and ship to the UK and debtors paying on credit terms ranging from 30 to 90 days, Fiona knew she needed the help of a funding partner to keep her business moving rather than having to wait to be paid before taking on more orders.

With Ultimate Finance as their funding partner of choice Vintage Heir set up a £65k Trade Finance facility to ensure they could fulfil every order at the end of 2016. In the five years since then, the business has grown successfully, with their Trade Finance facility continuing to grow with them, and we are now proudly providing them with a £335k Trade with debt assignment facility so they can keep meeting their ever-growing ambitions.

The funding solution is simple and enables payments to be made to Vintage Heir’s suppliers directly based on the goods being pre-sold to an end customer, ensuring the cashflow gap is bridged whilst orders are in transit. When the customer has received an order and made payment within terms, the trade payment is reimbursed, and all additional profits sent straight back to Vintage Heir. That way, the business never has to dip into cashflow to fulfil an order.

Director Fiona Bell explains, “Ultimate Finance have been transparent from the word go, explaining exactly how the facility would work and delivering on the simplicity of use they had promised. With their funding solution in place, we have been able to build a strong relationship with our supplier through the years, which means that we’re no longer expected to provide large deposit payments prior to them manufacturing the goods, which has helped to accelerate our growth even more”.

As Vintage Heir’s ambitions grew alongside their success, so did our funding facility to ensure they could fulfil larger orders and take on new customers with no disruption to their cashflow. Fiona explains, “During the COVID-19 pandemic pyjamas and more comfortable clothing grew in popularity and sales suddenly accelerated, but all supplier payments were met in time thanks to the flexibility of our facility with Ultimate Finance”.

In addition to supporting the business with funding, Relationship Manager Beth Taylor provides our 5-star rated personal service to Fiona and the team and is always on hand to answer any of their questions or review the available limit. Beth says, “It has been an immense pleasure to support Vintage Heir over the last five years and not only see the business grow to where it is today but play an integral part of to their journey. Today we have a great relationship with the business and their supplier, and I look forward to continuing to help Fiona meet her ambitions as the company continues to grow”.

Find out more about our Trade Finance solution online and get in touch with our team to discuss any funding requirements.

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