Bathstore chief executive Gary Favell said its new store format is delivering strong sales uplifts as it drives its fitting service to propel growth.
Speaking at its Baker Street store, which has just reopened in the new format, Favell told Retail Week the new format is performing “off the scale”, generating “high teens” sales uplifts.
Bathstore has already converted stores in Harrogate and Chelsea. These will be followed by revamps in locations including Islington and Reading this month. The retailer will convert a further 36 of its 173 stores over the next two years.
The retailer is also eyeing growth through its burgeoning fitting service, which was relaunched in the autumn. Favell said at the moment just 10% to 15% of Bathstore orders are fitted by the retailer, representing a big growth opportunity. “It’s growing fast,” he said. “The biggest opportunity we have is the turnkey solution – where we do everything for the customer.”
Favell said the main benefit of the service is that it drives incremental sales of associated products such as tiles and cabinets. “When I came in two years ago it was obvious we weren’t getting the full value from the customer,” he said. “Now they’re properly managed.”
He said the new format, which features more room sets and inspiration, “shows the quality of how we fit”.
Favell said Bathstore expects to deliver a double-digit sales increase for its current financial year. He said Bathstore was attracting more spend from the same customers rather than aiming to pull in more shoppers. “We’re really going very well now,” he said. “The team are very committed to the business.”
Favell added: “We’re trying to be a national with an independent feel. You’ve got that security and you feel like you’re being looked after. That’s a challenge for big retailers.”
The format also features an area in store that compares the quality of Bathstore products with an unnamed online rival. “People don’t know the quality when they are buying online,” he said.
The retailer has invested in its own ecommerce offer, and online accounts for a double-digit percentage of overall sales. “It’s doubled since I took the business on,” he said.
Bathstore is said to be the latest retailer eyeing an IPO, but Favell declined to comment on the exit strategy of owner Endless.