European design brand Made.com is to give all its staff a stake in the business, which has delivered 10 years of growth and seen cumulative sales hit £1b.
All 650 employees, apart from senior management, will receive the same number of share options, vesting in equal tranches over the next three years.
The move has been made in recognition of the commitment and sacrifices made by the workforce during the pandemic.
CEO Philippe Chainieux says: “I have been delighted by the way in which everyone at Made has pulled together as a team during this unprecedented time. There have been many challenges for the retail sector this year, but I am proud to say that thanks to the structure of our business and the tireless efforts of our people, we have emerged from the crisis in a very strong position.
“The share options are a way of saying ‘thank you’ to colleagues for their past efforts but also a way to give them a stake in the exciting future we see for our brand.”
The announcement came as the business prepared to file accounts for 2019, showing group revenue increased +22% to £212m, the 10th consecutive year of growth. During 2019, the business made landmark investments in its operational capacity, launching three new warehouses, two in Europe and one in the UK, to position Made for the next phase of growth. It also doubled technology resources, investing in its website and logistics capabilities to enhance customer experience.
Made has continued to see strong trading in 2020, despite being forced to shut its showrooms across Europe at various times due to Covid-19. Cumulative sales since the business launched passed £1b last month, and the company now has more than one million active customers who shopped in the last year, and more than a million followers on Instagram.
In a response to the pandemic, the company recently launched its virtual, see-now-buy-now experience, showcasing its new collections in a curated apartment in Amsterdam (see related). Last month, Black Friday was the busiest day in Made's 10-year history, with UK sales doubling YoY. The outlook for Christmas and January trading is described as "very positive".
Philippe says recent trading has been shaped by the pandemic, fundamentally changing the way people shop and think about their home: “We have seen a rapid acceleration in the shift to online this year, an evolution which was predicted to take four or five years taking place in a matter of months.
“Covid has forced more people to work from home throughout this year, we have seen a huge increase in demand for home offices, for example, desk sales up +200%. Whilst there will undoubtedly be a return to the office in due course, we believe the ability and requirement to work from home on a part-week basis will remain.
“Reaching £1b sales since launch is an important milestone for the company. We are now firmly targeting the billion annual sales mark as we continue to build a leading global design brand.”