The hunt delivers record success

This month marks a year since Big Furniture Group first sat down with John Rayment, Operations Director at Sussex Beds, where he shared an insight on the process of hunting new retail locations as the business looked to implement its expansion strategy.

A year on, Sussex Beds has put those plans into action, expanding its store network to 15 sites, as well as entering a new county for the first time. Following openings in Ashford, Canterbury and Dover back in 2022, Sussex Beds launched in Horley, taking a 6,000sqft store, while marking another milestone for the retailer by entering its third county in Surrey, the new store opened in January earlier this year.

Furthermore, this store was the first that featured its brand-new look, with fresh teal and white branding, replacing the existing black and orange design. A teaser ahead of the launch came when Sussex Beds unveiled the rebranding of its delivery fleet with a fresh new look and fun-themed names, which included ‘Beddy Mercury’, ‘Meryl Sleep’, ‘Sleep Gonzales’, ‘Dozee Rascal’ and BFG’s Editor’s personal favourite, ‘Shaun of the Bed’.

As the Horley store settled into its portfolio, John was busy prepping the next location, again in Surrey, and its most recent launch in Caterham. The new 3,500sqft store officially opened on 1 April 2023 and is located in Church Walk Shopping Centre, Station Avenue, becoming the retailer’s 15th store.

“We are delighted with our new store in Caterham and the initial reaction over the opening weekend was fantastic,” John said. “We would like to thank all our contractors for their work over at the Caterham store. It’s our quickest turnaround yet in Caterham, with works being completed in just six weeks.”

Since opening in Caterham, the store has conitued to deliver a strong performance and has broken a record for the retailer. John revealed: “Caterham has continued from where it started. It is still trading amazing figures and is our best ever start for a new store. In fact, the month of April was 137% above our predicted target, so we are delighted with how the response has been and all the work that has gone into the location.

“We’ve had many lovely comments on the layout and look of the store, as well as the great choice of products we have on display and the superb service from Callum, Omar and Kumbi. It really has been a great opening success for us.”

Last year, John revealed that Sussex Beds’ goal is to open three to four stores each year for the next three years, then further expanding to 10 stores a year after that, with an overall target of 80 stores by 2030. With two already ticked off for 2023, John added that the business is taking their foot off the gas for now, but will be soon again on the hunt for the right retail location later this year.

“We have a very detailed sheet showing potential new store locations with the predicted market share and turnover. With this information I can then visit towns to see if there are any vacant units. Following the two recent openings, we are taking a little break from shop searching until later in the year. However, the future is looking exciting and we cannot wait to take Sussex Beds into many more towns as we continue our expansion.”

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