Nationwide bed and mattress retailer Bensons for Beds has reported a 9% like-for-like sales increase for the quarter to end of March, building on the 7% like-for-like sales growth in the previous quarter, as well as unveiling plans to step up its growth through further investment.
Further progress has also been made in its digital offer, with sales over the quarter in the channel growing by 32% year-on-year, driven by the continued investment in omnichannel capability and leadership. Recent trading across the key Easter weeks has also continued to be encouraging.
Building on the momentum across the first half of Bensons’ financial year, it now plans over the next two years to invest significantly in expanding its retail estate.
Having re-modelled its stores to reflect its retail footprint needs as a standalone business, Bensons now intends to re-enter markets and open in new catchments as it builds a network in the long-term of up to 200 locations.
In the quarter Bensons has opened new units in Erdington and Peterborough and in April, will be returning to Speke with a new store at the New Mersey Retail Park. The new store opens on 21 April and will feature more than 3,500sqft of trading space and employ nine colleagues. To celebrate the opening, Bensons will be offering an additional 10% off items bought over the opening weekend.
The new store model builds on the successful strategy that has been implemented centred around a simpler omni channel journey and expert advice from its sleep advisors.
In February, Bensons launched a unique 2-in-1 mattress – Flip by Slumberland – that ensures growing adolescents get a better quality of sleep because it offers different support needs for their growing bodies. The brand new mattress is softer on one side for when kids are smaller and firmer on the other side for when they’re bigger.
Flip by Slumberland is based around new temperature-regulating smart fabric breathable and responsive foam and spring technology created by its Cambridgeshire manufacturing centre in Huntingdon.
Also based around innovation from its Huntingdon team, Bensons has also begun activating plans to create a sustainable future for the eveSleep brand it acquired in Autumn 2022.
Following the relaunch of the eveSleep website under Bensons’ ownership, from the end of March, sales via the eve website have been “encouraging”. An exclusive range of the brand’s mattresses have also become available in Bensons physical stores for the first time.
“This has been a quarter of real innovation and pace for the team,” said Bensons for Beds chief executive officer Nick Collard. “Despite the UK’s economic challenges, it’s clear our investment in our stores, online and in product innovation, is being warmly received by our customers.
“I’d like to thank the team at Bensons for their hard work moving our transformation plans forward at speed over the quarter. That momentum means we’re on track to return to deliver our plans for the year.”
Bensons is investing significantly to build a portfolio of brands alongside eveSleep – the majority produced in-house at its manufacturing base in Huntingdon, and is backed by Alteri Investors, the European retail sector specialist.
In 2022, Bensons secured additional funding from Alteri to drive its growth strategy and transformation plans through investment in stores and digital developments.