Bed Kingdom, a university project-turned-business founded by 35-year-old Ashley Hainsworth in 2011, is a Yorkshire-based ecommerce business with an ambitious outlook, specialising in children’s beds as part of a broad bedroom furniture offer.
Having significantly outgrown its initial £400 investment, Bed Kingdom is now a £15m success story, says Ashley, who describes how a unique range of specially designed products – coupled with a clever structural shift during the pandemic – meant the business went from strength to strength in the last few years, most recently recording a +50% leap in YoY revenue.
The business’ founder now appears to be on track to meet his ambition of a £20m turnover before the end of 2023 – up from just £2m five years ago.
Bed Kingdom boasts some 12,000 SKUs, and has seen website traffic triple since the beginning of 2022, thanks to “a commitment to driving business through the pandemic and out of the other side”, says Ashley, warming to the theme. “Through dynamic management, we maintained consistent supply over a period when our competitors struggled – and we still continue to fulfil our promise to our customers of a next-day direct home delivery service.”
The growth is enabling Bed Kingdown to invest in people, both through recruitment and professional development. Over the last 12 months, the company has tripled its number of employees to 30, across all facets of the business – and new internal promotions and staff hires are giving the business the ability to develop previously unexplored avenues.
One of these has been to enhance the business’ marketing function, with the rise of apprentice-turned-marketing director, Levon Hall (pictured), who works to continually improve the website and the customer journey it offers.
The business’ PPC budget (a key element of its upward trajectory) has doubled over the last year, while its SEO contribution has quadrupled, in order to make the site much more visible.This marketing focus has been enhanced by external PR support to boost the business’ standing within the local and national markets.
Despite all this ambition, like many other sectors, Bed Kingdom is finding that effective recruitment takes a good deal of time and effort to find the right people for the right roles. “The biggest challenge we currently face is that there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we need,” Levon explains. “As we take on more channels and approaches, it’s important to employ the staff needed to manage these elements – but it’s not always easy to find the right people for the job. Of course, we’re pursuing these new opportunities as rapidly as possible with our current team.”
A new focus
Levon describes a typical working day starting in the warehouse at 5am, then going to attend calls with clients, and managing communication with suppliers throughout the day. “You can sometimes feel as though you’re pulled in all directions,” he says of his role, “but if you can focus on prioritising the important things, and the things only you can do, the rest can be delegated to a capable team, and everyone can pull their weight to make things work.
“We’ve found recently that there’s more opportunity in online business than ever – our post-Covid showroom footfall has not increased in line with the online business like we had originally expected. We believe the customer is now much more used to buying online, and this extends to being comfortable buying furniture online – they no longer seem to have the same need to see things in person.”
The recent launch of more expansive ranges of beds and bedroom accessories highlights one of the company’s new directions. These include the introduction of the FSC-certified Noomi brand, a sustainable, affordable and eco-friendly line of beds “for those interested in greener alternatives”.
“Just 12 months after it launched [in October 2021], Noomi was already responsible for 30% of our sales,” says Levon.
Off the back of this success, plans for the future will see Bed Kingdom expanding sideways into new, untapped categories such as occasional furniture, he adds, with accessible pricing still a priority: “Bed Kingdom proudly maintains a wide price range – now more than ever, as families and individuals are faced with the cost of living crisis. We proudly provide multiple payment options, including 0% finance, putting the care of our customers first.”
Bed Kingdom is looking forward to a prosperous year, fueled by innovation, Levon concludes. The brand’s tagline – ‘Bring your bedroom to life’ – has never been more appropriate.
Pictured: Levon Hall