Bluestones Retail

Launched in November 2015, Bluestones Retail specialises in the provision of both temporary & permanent installations and merchandising personnel to the retail sector.

Headed by directors Mark Pye and Simon Fontaine, Bluestones Retail has over 36 years of experience within the retail, recruitment and project management sectors.

Our growing team deliver a comprehensive range of services ranging from racking and mezzanine floor installations to providing comprehensive management information.

As a part of our ongoing commitment to delivering an outstanding level of service to our clients we invest heavily in staff training and development and have been awarded several industry accreditations including SEMA.

As an experienced recruiter, I know my market very well and understand how to build a business. But the everyday minutiae of running a business – from a legal or financial perspective – that’s something I really felt the benefit of when working with the Bluestones Group.

Stephen Emsley - The Classroom Partnership

When the option came to join the Bluestones Group, it really was the only option for the company. Bluestones Group has turned my business from a one-man-brand into a multi-million pound recruitment company.

They have taken away all the jobs that slowed me down in the day to day running of a business, such as marketing, HR, and payroll and enabled me to do what I do best – placing candidates into roles.

Matt Torgersen - Director, Zebralight Recruitment

Having the backing of the Bluestones Group has been key in all of our successes. As an agency starting out it can be intimidating to take on the world of recruitment, but having the Bluestones Group behind me has given me the extra confidence to take it to the next level.

Chris Chapman - MD, ACER

As the Bluestones Group invests in technology, we benefit from Group purchasing power and the ability to use market leading technology products – whether that’s our CRM system, access to the best job boards, or a high performing, bespoke website. I’ve also found the lack of distractions to be a huge benefit too – particularly regarding cash flow management and debt chasing. The central finance function that I use as part of partnering with the Bluestones Group completely removes the need for me to do that kind of work now.

Katie Coates - Managing director, Harrison Sands

We had already been running RIB successfully for a number of years, had attained ‘strategic partner of the REC’ status, and were well-established in the industry – so our relationship with Bluestones Group may not seem to fit the typical agency investment approach. But that’s where the myth needs dispelling… as I’ve been able to secure investment and support that has provided a springboard for more ambitious growth plans and access not just to funding, but also to a network of subject matter experts.

Crawfurd Walker - Chief executive officer, Recruitment Industry Benchmarking

I’m thrilled to be working with the Bluestones Group and launching my own recruitment business. I’ve worked for other recruitment companies for many years and always thought this was something I wanted to do. Working with the Group’s in-house support functions, there’s been a quick turnaround from signing the initial agreement to forming the company, designing the brand and launching Jigsaw’s new website.

Craig Barclay - managing director, Jigsaw Staffing

Our primary ambition was to create a professional recruitment business that our accountancy and finance clients and candidates trusted. The boutique agency approach we’ve adopted supports this focus on providing a high quality, personal service – whilst retaining the professionalism our team has accumulated through years of experience in the recruitment industry. Having the investment and support from the Bluestones Group allowed us to have this flexibility, particularly during the early start-up months… something I know we couldn’t have managed on our own.

Wayne Caunce - Director, Nixon Caunce Associates

Harrison Sands was a well-established recruitment business when we received investment from the Bluestones Group. That funding, along with the support and infrastructure of the Group, has enabled us to grow organically whilst maintaining the same approach to flexible working and remote/home-working recruitment consultants. We’ve been able to develop additional markets and expand the business without any of the headaches or distractions typically associated with running a business.

Katie Coates - Managing director, Harrison Sands

Since joining the Bluestones Group, I’ve been able to grow my business with educated advice from the Group. I feel this has genuinely been a fantastic opportunity as I’ve been able to concentrate on growing my company without worrying about accounts, HR, payroll, or IT. I’d recommend this approach to anyone looking to run their own business.

Ben Leigh - MD, Advanced Global Energy

Quest Pay Solutions was one of the early companies that joined the Bluestones Group and has grown as the Group has grown, benefiting from the infrastructure and support as other joint venture partners have, but also from the recruitment sector expertise that the Board possesses. As a service company, we’re not providing recruitment services directly – but we are still directly involved in the industry, so it helps demonstrates the appetite of the Group and their desire to create a compelling portfolio of recruitment agencies and staffing services businesses.

Alex Grant - Managing director, Quest Pay Solutions

Having worked in the legal recruitment sector for many years, we’d had experience of a number of different recruitment agencies. But we were always working for someone else. Through partnering with the Bluestones Group and launching our own recruitment firm, we’re now investing our time and effort directly into our own future. We own equity in the business we’re working for and have the big company benefits that a larger group offers, so we really do have the best of both worlds.

Raphael Blake - Director, Blake Chambers

Having the opportunity to not just launch a new recruitment business, but then develop a network of branches operating under the Bluestones Logistics brand and benefiting from the Group support, infrastructure and expertise available – has been a thoroughly rewarding experience. As with many experienced recruiters, the team had developed in-depth knowledge of their markets, clients and candidates and we’ve been able to leverage that expertise, whilst providing them with the support and investment needed to grow their individual businesses – all of which they own equity stakes in. It’s a fantastic business model that I can’t recommend highly enough.

Maz Butterworth - MD, Bluestones Logistics

As one of the first businesses to join the Group, we’ve had the benefit of the full range of support services and investment. Collectively, along with my team of registered nurses, recruiters and compliance officers, we’ve built a high performing, profitable medical recruitment agency that’s now an approved supplier to NHS trusts and private healthcare providers throughout the UK. The support of the Group has allowed me to focus on the operational side of my business without being distracted by the administrative details. I’m a strong advocate of the Group’s business model and am keen to see more people take advantage of this way of working.

Elizabeth Pringle - Managing director, Bluestones Medical Nursing

Having the support and investment of the Bluestones Group has meant I can really capitalise on my broad recruitment background and knowledge and create a new brand, building a business from scratch and developing a commercial and operational strategy that maps out the future growth of the company. Whilst I could have probably done much of this on my own, it would have been a hard slog and I’d have not only missed out on the support of the extended Group and back office support functions, but the start up costs would have been a huge drain on the business early on in the process. Any new business venture is a risk, but with the Group’s support and investment I’m much more confident that Zebralight will grow into a well-established, profitable brand in its sector.

Lez Finlay - Director, Zebralight Recruitment

Being part of the Bluestones Group has all the corporate advantages whilst having the agility and flexibility of an SME. Having systems, processes, investment and support from the Group means I can focus on growth, employee development and maximizing profit margins.

Mark Sweeney - MD, PlusPoint Quality

Launching my own recruitment business was something I’ve wanted to do for a number of years now and with the support of the Bluestones Group, I’ve been able to realise that dream. Whilst I have the knowledge of my sectors, clients and candidates in my region, I’ve been able to rely on the subject matter experts in the Group that have supported me in setting up my new business, creating my website, providing me with the payroll support I need, and a million and one other things that I now don’t have to worry about. It’s that ability to focus on the day job that’s made the launch of Cogent Staffing so quick and easy.

Sam Gaukroger - Managing Director, Cogent Staffing

Even though CFS isn’t a regular recruitment agency as such, we still deal with people and supply staffing services to multinational organisations. That helps explain our place within the Bluestones portfolio… but from my perspective, CFS has benefited not just from the financial investment we’ve received but also from the expertise within the Group and the ability to draw on a range of support services across HR, IT, Finance and Marketing. Its meant we can just focus on doing what we do, building relationships with our clients, winning new business and providing a first class facilities management service.

John Thomson - MD, CFS

Working with the Bluestones Group has been a positive experience and any challenges we have had working together have been outweighed by the support we receive from the Board to achieve Chad Harrison International’s objectives. Without their financial support during a difficult time in the early days of our business, CHI would not be here today. As we continue to rapidly grow, being part of the Bluestones Group investment portfolio will add strong value to our proposition to the market.

Luke Robbins-Wells - MD, Chad Harrison International

I joined Bluestones Group in December 2014. JPS had already been established for two years but was purely a lifestyle business. Two years on and thanks to the support of the Bluestones Group, the business has flourished. Having support for IT, marketing, HR and accounts means that I have been able to focus on what I am good at – recruitment. What I particularly like about the Group is that each brand is able to maintain its own identity so I get the best of both worlds of having a recognised, specialist brand in JPS, with the backing and support that comes with being a part of a large organisation with a Board of recruitment experts.

Jennifer Swain - Managing Director, JPS Supply Chain

Since Joining Bluestones Group myself and co-director (Dave Brigdale) haven’t looked back. It is refreshing to work with a company that invests in people not just financially but in personal development also. As Directors, we are much more confident and better equipped to move our business forward as a result of this support. In the two years that we’ve been a part of the Bluestones Group, we have gone from a standing start to what we estimate to be over £4 million sales in the year to come. Thank you Bluestones Group – you really are life changers!

Krista Flanagan - Director, Bluestones Logistics

Contact us

Please call us on 0191 466 1340 to understand more about the Bluestones Retail business, or to speak to us about the services we provide and how we can help with your retail related projects. Alternatively, please email info@bluestonesretail.co.uk and we’ll respond as quickly as is feasible.

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