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Worldstores to launch next day delivery following 25m investment

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Worldstores, the online furniture retailer, will launch next-day delivery services after receiving a £25m cash injection from a consortium of investors led by US investment bank Goldman Sachs.

The internet company, which last year snapped up childrenswear business Kiddicare, was set up in the depths of the recession by online marketing veterans Joe Murray and Richard Tucker, who had questioned why it took so long for bulky, heavy items such as beds to be delivered. Since launching in 2008 the Twickenham-based company has grown to sell more than 750,000 product lines under its and flash sale business Casafina brands, putting it strides ahead of well-known high street group Argos, which has just 43,000 lines.

WorldStores, which has sales of over £100m but is yet to turn a profit, said it will use the £25m to invest in a fleet of 100 delivery vehicles.

Mr Murray and Mr Tucker said that the company is keen to set up its own delivery service after being unimpressed by delivery options for its larger furniture items.

“There are a number of carriers for smaller parcels but the delivery options for larger items is poor,” Mr Murray said. “As an online retailer the only touch point we have with our customers is at delivery and we want to be able to control that experience”.

The online duo pointed to grocery firm Ocado and white goods retailer AO World as other examples of retailers building their own services rather than using third parties.

World Stores is planning to offer next-day delivery services seven days a week and, with no premium for weekend delivery or a one-hour time slot.

The investment from Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division follows financial backing from private equity firm Advent Ventures, Balderton Capital and Serena Capital. OC&C Strategy Consultants advised on the £25m fundraising.

WorldStores bought Kiddicare last September from private equity firm Endless Capital, who in turn bought it from Morrisons.

Source : Ashley Armstrong - The Telegraph


02 March 2015

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