Retail Focus with Bedcare

Nicholas Forth, Managing Director of independent online business Bedcare Ltd, which trades as The Reinforced Bed Company and Endurance Beds, shares an insight into recent investments, sustainability progress and why storage capability has been a challenge.

The Bedcare story

I’m the Managing Director of Bedcare Ltd. I oversee general MD roles in running the company, while also getting stuck into trade sales and managing all aspects of our SEO – which is a full-time job in itself!

We are a family run UK online retailer based in West Norfolk. We originally established in 2007 trading under the name of Holbeach Beds. However, in 2011 we set up The Reinforced Bed Company, where we took it upon ourselves to retail a bed that was not only appealing to the eye but also suitable for overweight and obese individuals. Although many of our customers are not overweight, we’ve found that many just require a bed or mattress that is built to last. As for our sister brand, Endurance Beds, we supply bespoke beds that are handcrafted with care, right here on site at our own workshop in Walpole Cross Keys.

Recent investments?

We seem to be always spending money nowadays! However, the biggest investment that is going through at the moment is actually buying our six-acre site. We also bought a net zero modular office a year or so ago to improve our sustainability goals. This helps in bringing the electric costs down for the company. The actual office is built on a passive house design, with triple glazing windows, thick insulation and air source heat pump.

Future plans?

We’re looking at increasing storage with more warehousing and container space. We have the land on our site to do so once the sale has gone through. We are looking into doubling from 5,400sqft to 11,000sqft of storage (this includes extra containers, not just the warehouse building). The expansion will enable us to keep more stock, which will speed up delivery times for customers as well as keeping enough stock for the growing demand in contract customers we have.

What is your mission?

Our mission is to provide the UK with heavy duty beds and furniture solutions. We also responded to the growing demand for specialist mental health beds. Back in 2013, we introduced reinforced beds, mattresses and furniture meeting the requirements of those with mental health demands and challenging behaviours such as autism and psychiatric disabilities. We also knew that these can be expensive for the average family or customer, so we decided that it would be a great service to offer VAT Relief for charities and customers with disabilities.

On sustainability, what is your business doing on this topic?

Sustainability is at the fore front of our plans. The products we supply are sustainable in their own right and being heavy duty means customers buy in the knowledge that their bed will last. Also, our investment in the net zero modular office has seen a boost in energy efficiency and a reduction in energy consumption. A net zero carbon building is highly energy efficient and is built using eco-friendly materials. We also run electric forklifts and plan to invest heavily in solar panels with battery storage to reduce our carbon footprint even further.

How has recent business been?

So far this year we have secured an increase in contract leads, which is an area of the business we are looking to expand even further in. Our retail side has been positive too. Domestically, I think people are buying less luxury goods due to the economy at present and are focussing on a price point that better suits their needs.

What would you change in the industry?

The introduction of more quality innovative products. Needs expanding on in my opinion.

What challenges do you currently face?

A big challenge for us has been the lack of stock and storage capability as highlighted earlier. However, with the new site purchase, this will enable us to increase our stock figure substantially.

Do you have any staff you would like to pay special thanks or recognition to and why?

Good question! My colleague Shane immediately says himself – but I’m unsure as to why! All jokes aside, we are a small team and all our staff are key to our continued success, from warehouse workers to office staff and delivery people – and yes, even Shane. The Covid pandemic made our processes difficult, so I’m very grateful for everyone.

Why do you think customers choose your business?

I think our success is down to the fact we specifically advertise stronger products with a unique heavy-duty guarantee. We have a range of diverse products catering for all audiences and we also keep vast stock which is suitable for everyday one-off orders to large contract orders.

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