Laptops Direct has hit upon a creative way to cut labour costs during the recession and market its products more effectively by employing babies to create a family atmosphere and boost sales in its retail outlets.
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The online reseller hit upon the idea of sponsoring a baby when a member of staff fell pregnant and was faced with the prospect of giving up her job to look after the child.
"Rather than leaving it to social services we thought we'd get involved," Nick Glynne, managing director at Laptops Direct told MicroScope.
It has sponsored the child to appear in the Huddersfield show room at weekends (except Bank Holidays) for a minimum of four hours wearing Laptops Direct branded outfits in return for £20 per day.
"The recession means you need to be extra innovative in marketing your products and be able to cut labour costs," said Glynne. "Through this initiative we are not restricted by the minimum wage."
He added that parents got ROI from their infant, while the child learned the value of money and social skills.
Other options include £50 a day for a parent and child to attend the showroom jointly, while rebates on the full adoption package vary on a child-by-child basis.
The contract lasts until the under-age employee reaches 16, at which point it is free to leave or start a management course if it shows promise.
Glynne said he plans to extend the child sponsorship scheme to its other retail locations in Nottingham, Leeds and Bradford.
"We need to spread the employment opportunities across the region," he said.
A promotional video can be viewed here.
This scheme follows previous efforts by Glynne to create brand equity for Laptops Direct through community initiatives.