Housewares supplier Charles Bentley & Son has purchased a new 202,000sq ft warehouse in a deal worth £6m, to accommodate its rapidly expanding e-commerce brand, BuyDirect4U.
The Loughborough-based manufacturer will move BuyDirect4U into the new warehouse on North Road, which is the largest single building in the Leicestershire town.
BuyDirect4U was established in 2005 as an online retailer sourcing home, garden and leisure products from around the globe, selling directly online to customers in the UK and Europe under the Bentley brand name. The company achieved a total online sales increase of 68% in 2014 and has already surpassed this for 2015. BuyDirect4U now has a team of 30 staff in its online sales department, working in conjunction with the Bentley head office, and sells more than 1,000 different products through its website.
General manager Andrew Steel said: “The move to our new warehouse has been one of our most ambitious projects to date, but it will allow us to create a more efficient pick, pack and ship operation. We have spent the last three months transforming the site, which was originally built for Morris Cranes, from a shell into a dedicated storage and dispatch facility. The additional space will not only allow us to expand the range of products we are able to offer, but will also give us enough space to create an onsite outlet store. We will also be building a dedicated photography studio with lifestyle sets, which will allow us to improve the quality of the images on our website.”
He added: “We are continuing to grow and develop our drop ship business model, which will diversify our reliance on market places. We have now partnered with Tesco Direct to sell our products on their website and will be announcing additional partner sites shortly.”
James Bentley, director of Charles Bentley & Son, commented: “The acquisition of this building represents a considerable commitment to the future growth of the Charles Bentley Business.”
Charles Bentley & Son Ltd, which was formed in 1860 and is still owned by the original Bentley family, is celebrating 155 years in business in 2015. The company originally started out providing brushes for Victorian chimney sweeps and is now a multi-million pound operation employing 175 people, with specialisms in the equestrian, cleaning and household sector.