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GEM and Key Client TSF Retail Solutions Hit the Local Press

L-R: TSF Retail Solutions CEO David Craggs; GEM Partnership’s Lee Rankin; and TSF Retail Solutions MD Malcolm Foulis

One of the North East’s longest standing shop outfitters is embarking on a 12-month recruitment drive at their Peterlee operation.

TSF Retail Solutions Ltd, which designs, manufactures and installs commercial fixtures and fittings, is setting out plans to introduce a unique graduate trainee programme at its Peterlee operation as it commits to appointing new recruits over the coming months.

It follows hot on the heels of the return of company founder and entrepreneur David Craggs, who originally established the business in 1987, which today employs over 80 staff and supplies a number of household names, including Tesco, Asda, Homebase and Poundland.

The recruitment drive will be managed with the support of fellow entrepreneur, GEM Partnership co-founder and managing director, Lee Rankin and his team who will work with TSF Retail Solutions Ltd to encourage more graduates to consider a profession in retail project management with the company.

The two businesses have worked together for a number of years now with GEM Partnership’s Peterlee office based in the same building as TSF Retail Solutions.

TSF Retail Solutions’ CEO David Craggs said: “Both the retail and manufacturing sectors have gone through challenging times in recent years, making this the ideal opportunity to bring in the next generation of talent to help us grow the business.

“We have historically recruited more experienced personnel with the help of the team at GEM Partnership, and this has provided us with a solid and incredibly loyal staff base from which to build the next generation of the business.

“The retail sector has been heavily influenced by economic factors in recent years and this has led to significant changes in the nature of the shop fitting sector – our role in the industry is evolving in order to deal with more complex projects and a more demanding client base, so it’s an exciting time to be part of the industry.

Our proposed intake of trainee project managers will work within a structured training programme, monitored by our team of Key Account Manager, covering involvement throughout our full client base.  Within an eighteen month training period they will be managing projects under their own supervision and making a full contribution to the business.

Lee Rankin, co-founder and managing director of GEM Partnership, said: “TSF Retail Solutions is a market leader in its field, based here in the North East with a fantastic reputation for customer service. We have worked closely with them for a number of years now and are thrilled to be helping them with this next phase of development.

“Whilst the shop fitting market hasn’t been an easy place to be in previous years, TSF have weathered the storm well.  They are well positioned to capitalise as we see signs of growth with retailers looking for increasingly sophisticated designs as they increasingly focussing on the ambience of stores as a source of competitive advantage.

“Forecasters are predicting that the sector has the potential to increase its estimated value to almost £2bn by 2016, so graduates would do well to seriously consider a career in this industry.

“As a business GEM put a great deal of emphasis on investing in home-grown North East talent, through our apprenticeship and internal graduate recruitment programmes. We’re looking forward to working with TSF in exploring what talent is out there, specific to TSF’s long term business needs.“

David concludes: “Retail project managers are the lynch pin of TSF’s entire operation we look forward to welcoming the next generation into the business, along with broader site and head office based  employment opportunities that will become available to the local catchment area which are set to be considerable over the coming months.

“This is a big milestone for us; we have a full order book, world class client base and are building for longevity. We are committed to looking after our existing and hugely talented team, whilst harnessing the emerging young talent which we know is out there in our region.“