22 July 2024, 21:27
By Furniture News Nov 08, 2023

Bensons returns to profitability in challenging year

Bensons for Beds has continued its positive sales momentum over the year in a tough market, posting full-year +7% LFL sales growth for the year ended 30th September 2023.

The results follow the retailer’s consistent sales progress in Q1 (+7%), Q2 (+9%), Q3 (+8%) and Q4 (+7%), and come on the back of a transformation strategy which has seen the business return to profitability despite unfavourable weather and reduced consumer spending affecting footfall, under the leadership of Nick Collard, who became CEO in May 2022, and his team.

During the last 12 months, Bensons says it has made strong progress, including: growth of market share in its core categories; significant gains on the brand’s ecommerce channel – sales increased by +22% YoY, driven by continued investment in omnichannel and leadership; increased store footprint and conversion, with 14 new store openings across the year, including Bensons re-entry into markets such as Peterborough and Speke and new catchments including Edinburgh Craigleith and Edrington;

improved NPS scores by +15% following significant investment in its customer service and delivery experience; the successful acquisition of eveSleep from administration and subsequent online relaunch, returning the brand to profitability in less than 12 months and delivering a solid return on investment; broadened consumer appeal through a strong programme of exclusive product launches - the bulk of which is developed and manufactured at its own Cambridgeshire-based factory - including the launch of Flip by Slumberland, Duo by Slumberland, eve exclusively for Bensons, Sealy Posturepedic exclusively for Bensons, Snooze bed frames and a range of new TV beds and sofabeds; and investment in a series of senior hires to help strengthen the leadership team, including a new chief retail officer, head of central operations, HR leadership team, head of internal communications and five new regional managers.

During Christmas 2022, the brand launched a nationwide partnership with homeless charity Crisis which included a £5 donation for every Simply by Bensons mattress sold, further supplemented with a programme of company-wide fundraising, such as the sponsorship of its biggest event of the year - The Icebreaker Challenge. Thanks to Bensons' support, donations have been put towards funding Crisis’ all year-round services as well as its Crisis At Christmas appeal.

Nick Collard, CEO, says: “The last 12 months has been tough for the retail sector as the cost of living continues to hit consumer spending hard. We planned for this, and alongside last year’s acquisition of eveSleep, this has put us in a strong position to offer a breadth of quality sleep solutions at affordable prices - delivering an even more profitable business through consistent and steady growth.

“Going into next year we are conscious that the market will remain challenging, particularly for big-ticket items, but as a business we have confidence that what we are doing is delivering positive results. Bensons is a great brand and we have a massive opportunity to transform it into the ultimate sleep solution specialist that caters to today’s and tomorrow’s consumer. In 2024, we will continue to focus on the areas that are in our control – building our reputation for delivering great value through excellent customer experience and stylish, quality products at affordable prices, matched to all types of sleepers.”

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