Bensons secures new funding; appoints COO; says calculated rest costs 15p per sleep

Bed retailer Bensons for Beds has secured additional funding from owner Alteri Investors to drive its growth strategy and transformation plans.

Alteri’s new investment comes two years after it first invested in Bensons with the fresh capital set to support investment in retail, manufacturing, digital and distribution, and providing it with financial flexibility as it emerges from post Covid disruption.

Specifically, digital development will be accelerated as Bensons integrates its online platform with its growing store network.

The investment will also help Bensons grow its store portfolio across England, Scotland and Wales. Operating from 166 stores today, Bensons aims to create a network of 180-190 physical locations over the next two years and continue relocating into better units in the towns from which it already trades.

Bensons is also planning to explore new formats that integrate its physical and digital offer, as it brings Britain’s leading sleep brand to more places.

The Alteri funding will also enhance Bensons’ logistics network – especially at its Tewkesbury distribution centre, which is being revamped to increase capacity, speed up delivery times and align it with customer service levels at its other centres in Huncoat and Ayr. Investment in Bensons’ Huntingdon manufacturing site will be increased. 

The facility which employs 300 people and remained in production throughout the pandemic, opened in 1962 and makes BSI Kite Mark mattresses under Bensons private label brands such as Staples & Co, Slumberland and Simply by Bensons.

Underlining Huntingdon’s design credentials and craftsmanship, Bensons has this month been awarded seven Good Housekeeping endorsements for a selection of Slumberland mattresses manufactured at the factory.

Separately, Bensons also confirmed that it had appointed highly experienced supply, logistics and manufacturing expert Gavin Chappell as Chief Operating Officer.  

Gavin joins Bensons after a thirty-year retail career in senior operating and executive board roles at Asda, Boots, Dunelm and Holland and Barrett. 

Ian Shepherd, chairman of Bensons for Beds, said: “This is an important time for Bensons.  Alteri’s investment enables us to step up our transformation programme across all areas of the business. 

“I’m also delighted to welcome someone of Gavin’s experience to our board- he’s going to make a significant contribution to our plans.

“We’ve made great progress towards our goal of becoming a market leading omnichannel retailer. There is still plenty to do and this investment will make a big difference, especially at a time when so many retailers are facing strong economic headwinds and the impact of high inflation.”

Gavin George, CEO of Alteri Investors, said: “Alteri remains fully committed to the future of Bensons and this new investment marks another milestone as we build on the strong foundations that have been laid over the past two years.

“We will continue to work closely with the management team so the business can realise its full potential.”

Bensons for Beds has also announced the launch of its new advertising campaign highlighting the affordability of its beds and mattresses. Bensons has calculated that the cost of a good rest – when spread over the guaranteed life of one of its mattresses – could be as little as 15p per sleep.

The calculation offers reassurance to customers about the value for money and health benefits of making one of their most important household investments at a time when budgets matter more than ever.

Based on a £245 double mattress with a free five-year minimum guarantee, Bensons has calculated that the investment comes out at under 15p per sleep, underscoring the long-term low price of investing in sleep that supports well-being.

Over a week, that comes out at only £1.05 – less than half the price of a budget eye mask or a box of 20 chamomile tea bags, a popular bedtime herbal sleep aid. 

Bensons is launching its latest campaign to highlight the affordability of its quality mattresses and bespoke in-store ‘your bed, your way’ service at a time when long-term value and affordability are top-of-mind.

Bensons for Beds CEO, Nick Collard, said: “We understand buying a new bed and mattress can seem like a big investment – especially in the current climate when families are thinking about rising prices on energy, fuel and food. But the right mattress is an investment that on a price-per-night basis, is highly affordable.

“Not only is it good value for money, but it brings all the health and mental well-being benefits that come with a good night’s sleep.

“Together with the in-store expertise of our colleagues and the affordability of our finance options that spread the cost of that investment, we can provide the kind of restful sleep that people long for, at a price that over the minimum life of a mattress, is surprisingly low.”

Launched in March, ‘Your bed, your way’ builds on Bensons’ British manufacturing heritage and celebrates the knowledge and craftsmanship that sets Bensons apart. The service is powered by Bensons dedicated factory in Cambridgeshire which makes exclusive brands such as Slumberland, and its long-standing relationships with British bed makers and raw materials and components suppliers.

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