‘Higher end’ focus delivers retail therapy for Lee Longlands …
A move back into the higher end of the market, the addition of exciting new ranges and major increases in online sales have helped one of the Midlands best loved independent retailers post impressive growth figures.
Lee Longlands, which boasts stores in Birmingham, Cheltenham, Leamington Spa and Abingdon, saw gross sales hit £16.4m last year, a 15% rise on the previous twelve months.
The company’s operating profit increased 64% to just under £300,000, with a net cash generation of over £540,000.
Future strategy will see the home furnishing specialist continue to focus on introducing contemporary and exciting ranges to its offer, as well as the continued roll-out of its own range of sofas under the ‘Heritage’ brand.
There are also plans to identify and launch new ‘core’ stores across the Midlands and on-going investment in e-commerce through www.leelonglands.co.uk.
Darren Campo, Financial Director, was delighted with the performance:
“It is extremely encouraging to have achieved these positive results in a demanding economic climate that is still very tough for retailers.
“The management team took the decision to return to the core values of the Lee Longlands brand and focus on the higher end of the market and this has resulted in stronger sales and an average sale per item increase of 100%.”
He continued: “Another feature of the last twelve months has been our ability to lay strong foundations for future growth. We’ve successfully streamlined certain areas of the business, whilst continuing to improve the customer experience through investment in training, store layout and by embracing online sales and social media.
“We are confident that the current business model gives us the platform to build on the recent growth and maximise future opportunities”.
Lee Longlands celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2012 and continues to offer the latest in contemporary furnishings, from sofas and dining furniture to carpets, beds, and accessories for the home.
It will embark on its annual warehouse clearance sell-off this weekend with £5m of savings set to be passed on to customers as the firm prepares its five stores for the introduction of its Autumn ranges.
Robert Lee, Director, went on to add: “We’ll have over 20,000 product lines – many from famous brand names – all ready to be sold during this three day event. In some cases, designer sofas have been reduced from over £2,000 to less than £200.
“Having a ‘sell-off’ like this ensures we have the space to get ready for the new collections and ranges that are due in shortly, as well as giving something back to our customers who can buy products form the likes of Natuzzi, Tempur and Ligne Roset for a fraction of the normal costs.”
He concluded: “Demand is expected to be high across all our stores and we’ve had to take on a number of new staff to cope with the anticipated footfall.”
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