Peter Simon, founder of Monsoon and Accessorize, has taken a significant minority stake in Loaf, the British furniture and homeware retailer, for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Charlie Marshall, Loaf has become the UK’s fastest-growing homeware company, with average annual sales growth of 81% over the last three years.
With plans to grow turnover from £20m to £100m over the next few years, Loaf had been looking for a suitable partner to help.
Charlie says: "Peter shares our values and approach to business. With 40 years’ experience of growing two of Britain’s most successful retail names, his guidance and advice will help ensure we achieve our goals of filling the gap in the UK market for laid-back furniture and becoming a household name."
The predominantly-online store launched five years ago, when Marshall started out selling a select range of 12 beds and just one mattress. Having lost a whole Saturday trying to buy a bed, he saw an opportunity to make the shopping experience as quick and hassle-free as possible – two years, 187 mattress and bed factories later, Loaf was born.
While most were waiting for the financial markets to improve, Charlie saw the downturn as the ideal time to launch a business. He attributes Loaf’s success to responding to consumers’ demand for distinctive-looking and characterful furniture which does not burn a hole in the pocket.
This fuss-free formula paid off, and in 2012 Loaf launched into other areas of the home with sofas and kitchen tables, which now make up a significant part of the business. The company will expand again in Spring 2014 into kitchen accessories and storage, console tables and home office furniture.
The 40-strong team based at Loaf's West London showroom-style HQ is set to grow to 60 over the next few months.
To achieve Charlie Marshall’s expansion goals, retail destinations called Loaf Shacks are planned to run alongside the online offering.