The art retailer is on a sales boost with a £150,000 loan

A company behind an iconic art poster brand has secured a £150,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), to help increase sales in Europe.

Athena has been an art publisher for over 50 years and previously ran a chain of high street shops.

The new company is now owned by Simon Coates, a former director of the original Athena company, and his business partner Nick Morgan. The duo took the business online in 2012 and now supply a range of up to 250,000 product lines from their factory workshop in Easingwold, North Yorkshire.

The company, which employs a team of 20, is also a supplier of picture frames through the Vivarti site, offering artwork for individuals, hotels, commercial interiors and rental investors.

Athena, which had already started selling in Europe, has undergone a transformation over the past two years to adapt its systems to comply with changing export regulations, and European sales are picking up again as a result.

The financing will help further expand the company’s exports to Europe and increase inventory levels to enable it to pursue its growth plans.

Morgan said: “With 400 million consumers, Europe is an important market for us and it was difficult to adapt to the new regulations.

“However, now that things have calmed down, we have been able to navigate the new customs arrangements and put measures in place to comply with the rules. The funding will help us rebuild and strengthen our trade with Europe.

Andy Clough of Mercia added: “Nick and Simon are both very experienced operators who have spent years in artistic production. It’s great to be able to help them re-establish their exports to Europe and support the growth of this iconic brand.

Sean Hutchinson of the British Business Bank said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund supports a wide range of businesses and it is fantastic to see Athena using funds to improve and stay competitive as it seeks to grow. .

“The export of goods and services plays a vital role in the UK economy, acting as a major driver of economic growth, while creating profits and jobs.

“It’s great to see NPIF supporting companies like Athena in their export business and supporting their growth plans.”

Join us at the 2022 Rainmaker Awards

About Debra D. Johnson

Check Also

Fixed Modern Warfare 2 beta performance (stuttering and frame drops)

Are you suffering from Modern Warfare 2 beta performance issues like stuttering, lag, and dropped …