Hardware chain Robert Dyas has laid out a three-year strategy to revitalise the business after completing a management buyout last week.
Chief executive Steve Round, along with turnaround specialist and new non-executive chairman Ian Gray, now wholly own the business after buying out private equity firm Change Capital.
The three-year plan includes introducing new product categories, hiring key management roles and continuing to grow market share. Round said the retailer “does not need turning around” but said “the business needed a change, and that’s now been accomplished”.
According to reports, Robert Dyas is worth £30m after the management buyout and Change Capital has had its £60m investment wiped out. Round would not comment on figures but said: “The aim is to make sure the company’s value is greater tomorrow than it was yesterday.”
New categories being explored will add to recently launched ranges such as shoe cleaning products and a haberdashery section. Round said he will also continue to “upgrade the calibre of management”, as well as refurbish stores, and implement new store layouts. Work on space management, which began shortly before Round joined last June, will continue.
He said: “We have been a bit behind the curve and are only starting to introduce things other retailers were doing 10 years ago.”
Robert Dyas’ profit on ordinary activities before tax slipped from £3.6m to £3.4m in the 52 weeks to March 29 last year. Turnover increased to £106.5m from £104m the year before, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
Round said more products will be sourced from the Far East aftera rationalisation of its supplier base. He said suppliers and two credit insurers have been “very supportive” of Robert Dyas, adding that the insurers have been “one of the anchors of the last few months”, despite more than half its suppliers having cover reduced or withdrawn.
Robert Dyas operates 99 stores in the Southeast and Round said there is potential for up to 200. He did not rule out launching nationally, adding that half the retailer’s online customers are based outside of the Southeast.
Robert Dyas said like-for-like sales have increased 3 per cent in the calendar year to date, driven by an 8 per cent increase in footfall.