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Bathstore sales up 10% following acquisition

Sales at Bathstore have surged ten per cent amid an overhaul of the business since its acquisition a year ago.

Chief executive Gary Favell said the 170-store bathroom retailer had broadened its product ranges and invested in online selling.

Turnaround firm Endless bought Bathstore last May for £15million from FTSE 100 group Wolseley and has invested £11million in working capital. The first payment to Wolseley has already been made and the business is believed to be heading into the black in its financial year to August.

The management team has introduced broader product ranges to dissuade shoppers going to other retailers for tile and other bathroom ranges once they had bought baths, sinks and showers.

‘There are risks when you don’t provide a full service because people walk out of your store and end up in other retailers. The aim is to hold the customer's hand all the way through the process from the design of the bathroom, to choosing products and installation,’ said Favell.

Management has set up new finance, property and personnel functions in the business following its separation from Wolseley, Favell said.

'The acquisition was done quickly and when we arrived in the business many of the support functions weren't there because they had been taken care of by Wolseley. We set about putting that structure in place and developing the strategy at the same time,' said Favell.

Next month the chain is launching a new small-store concept in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and further investment in the web and mobile sites is planned.

'We're expecting the market to be flat at best, maybe negative, but I believe we can grab market share in these situations because other retailers are struggling,' he said.

Source : Neil Craven –

05 June 2013

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