Smaller, brighter stores, a revamped fleet of delivery vans and a sizeable investment in ecommerce are just some of the measures that have fuelled this bedmaker’s dramatic recovery from the brink of collapse five years ago.
In 2013, the company, which had been struggling under high debt repayments, was rescued from administration by private equity firm Sun European Partners.
To lead Dreams’ transformation, its new owners brought in former Mothercare UK managing director and Asda commercial director Mike Logue, 45, as chief executive, supported by capital investment totalling £37m.
Operating out of its High Wycombe head office — renamed “Bedquarters” by Logue — Dreams has since sought to reposition itself as an “expert in sleep”, focusing on offering quality beds and a high standard of customer service.
As part of this strategy, it has reduced its rent bill by moving to smaller stores, which have been refurbished, and recently spent £2.5m upgrading its fleet of distribution vehicles, part of a supply chain and home-delivery network owned by the company.
With an eye to taking on smaller, online-based competitors, it launched its own bed-in-a-box subsidiary, Hyde & Sleep. A focus on digital and ecommerce has also been a key part of its turnaround strategy, including the launch last year of a free sleep-tracking app, Sleep Matters. Ecommerce sales grew by 15% last year.
Each week the company sells more than 11,000 mattresses, bases and headboards — most of them made in its Oldbury bed factory — to customers nationwide through its 187-strong store network and online. Last year, it made operating profits of £34.5m on sales of £290.3m.
However, Logue isn’t yet finished with the company’s transformation. In February, the firm announced that it was partnering with the Mumsnet website to produce a range of mattresses designed for parents and parents-to-be, and Logue’s plans for the future include further investments in technology, digital and colleagues, as well as more, smaller stores.
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