Tapping in to Public Desire

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A blockbusting Salford business is taking on the world thanks to the internet and social media.
Public Desire, based in Swinton, uses social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to sell women’s shoes and boots around the world through its website.

The business has grown so much that it now employs 50 staff, many of them University of Salford graduates. Public Desire now has nearly 1m followers on Instagram, 34k followers on Twitter and 85k likes on Facebook, numbers which are growing all the time. The company has been so successful in driving sales that it is looking to expand it operation even further.

Tayyab Akhlaq, Director of Public Desire, said: “Social media really drives our company, without it our model wouldn’t work. We have a team of people working to find the latest trends and then we look to source those products as cheaply as we can. We then enable our customer to order them online and deliver them within just a few working days.

“Because we have much lower overheads we can offer decent quality shoes at low prices, much lower than the high street. We sell across the UK, Europe and the US. We are exporting more all the time.”

And by encouraging customers to share their own images of products they like on its platform, as well as things they have purchased from the company, Public Desire has a ready-made resource to tap into to work out what products may sell, as well as a great way to market them.

“It can be a difficult time as companies grow in the early days but the course really helped me get to grips with all the challenges,” he said.

“The skills and management techniques which were discussed on the course have really helped me focus on what I need to do to keep the company successful, I would definitely recommend the CEBA to anyone running a small or medium sized business.

“I have been really impressed with all the recruits we have taken on from Salford so I will definitely be looking there again as we continue to grow.By next year we are aiming to have 80 staff and from there we could grow even further.This is a real Salford success story and it’s all thanks to the power of digital technology.”