Housewares retailer Lakeland plans to swell its store total by as much as 50% over the next five years, to around 100 UK stores.
Lakeland’s 61st shop, at thecentre.mk in Milton Keynes, opened on March 14, and will be followed next month by two new stores in Scotland: at Dobbies Garden World branches in Edinburgh Melville and Stirling. A branch at Centre Court Shopping Centre in Wimbledon will open at the end of May.
The group has unveiled plans for a major expansion of its business, including a £10m investment to develop its distribution centre at Kendal in Cumbria.
“With demand for our products growing every year and the popularity of the Lakeland brand at an all-time high, this investment is required to provide the capacity for further growth at home and abroad,” the company says.
The new warehouse will boost storage capacity by as much as 50%. Currently Lakeland stocks more than 4,000 products, as well as introducing around 1,000 brand new lines each year.
In the UK, business is going “from strength to strength,” the retailer claims, thanks in part to the popularity of home baking and the culture of ‘home-made is best’. In fact, 2012 sales were the highest in the company’s history.
Lakeland has ambitions further afield too. It make its European debut in Germany this summer, with a dedicated website and catalogues. More expansion in Europe is expected to follow.
In addition there will be further international building of the brand in the Middle East, with plans to double the number of stores in the region within the next two to three years.
Lakeland currently has seven stores across five countries in the Gulf region, where the company works in partnership with Jawad, one of the leading retailers in the region.
The stores, in Dubai (2), Oman, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Bahrain are thriving, averaging a 25% increase in sales on the prior year. These will soon be joined by a second store in Abu Dhabi and later this year Lakeland will begin operating from Saudi Arabia for the first time.