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Exclusive retail rights to Zumba dance fitness craze is sound move for Yorkshire Bank backed TV shopping channel


EXCLUSIVE UK Retail distribution rights to Zumba, the Latin-American dance-fitness workout which is an international weight-loss craze have been won by Yorkshire-based home shopping channel, High Street TV.

Rights to the Zumba product, a four-DVD package with toning sticks have been awarded to Harrogate-based High Street TV by the US -based manufacturer, the roll out of the campaign will be supported by Yorkshire Bank’s Bradford-based West Yorkshire Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) through its Investing for Growth initiative.

In another major move, High Street TV, which was founded in 2008 by directors Andrew Malcher and Jim Coleman and broadcasts on Sky Channel 648, has signed up national retailer BHS to trial an As Seen On High Street TV concession in its 180 outlets nationwide.

The company, which films from a Los Angeles studio and has household names including Alex Gerrard and Danielle Lineker as product ambassadors, offers a combination of selling goods through its TV channel, the High Street TV website and through partnerships with retailers which stock its products so customers can buy them locally.

High Street TV, which together with health and home fitness products, also sells homeware, cosmetics and DIY products through partner retailers including Tesco, Argos, Next and John Lewis, says that securing distribution rights to Zumba is a major boost to the business and will give customers far wider access to the dance craze by allowing people to buy their own DVDs so they can use in the comfort of their own home.

High Street TV (Group) Ltd chief executive, Jim Coleman, says: “Zumba is phenomenally popular. UK retailers are inundated with requests from shoppers seeking out a copy.

“Securing rights demonstrates that a growing number of high-volume manufacturers recognise the power of TV and online shopping. We are already selling several thousand Zumba DVD packages a week and estimate that it will add £5m to our company sales during the initial phase of this craze.

“Stock-flow finance is crucial for large-scale retailing. Yorkshire Bank first provided this facility for our peak trading season that enabled us to sell over 150,000 fitness products at retail in a 3 month period. We are pleased to have reached a national agreement with BHS on top of our current 1,700 UK outlets and are currently talking to several other household- name retailers.

“Yorkshire Bank quickly understood our business needs and entrepreneurial approach and gave us the quick decisions we require. We are very impressed with how they operate.”

High Street TV, which broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, also has more than 100 hours daily across other networks including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky Sports and the Discovery Channel and has created 30 new jobs this year at its Harrogate-based offices. The business is expanding its range of products and expects to significantly increase on its £15m 2010 turnover this year.

Yorkshire Bank West Yorkshire FSC business partner, Phillip Shearstone, who arranged the funding, says: “High Street TV offers an innovative and exciting new way forward for UK retailing which needs a boost and Yorkshire Bank is pleased to support these latest expansions.”

Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative enables businesses to take loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms to take advantage of quality growth opportunities. Businesses taking up the package can re-invest the cash into their operation for expansion, new staff, equipment, machinery and commercial development.

Yorkshire Bank’s West Yorkshire FSC, Canal Road, which covers Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and up to Craven district, comprises 45 staff in multi-discipline teams encompassing corporate banking, private wealth management, treasury services and credit and operates a traditional method of banking with funding from deposits used to support investments in the local community.

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