Housewares chain Lakeland continued to build its business throughout 2014, with sales increasing by over £10m to a record high of £176m.
The specialist retailer attributed this performance to customers inspired by TV shows such as BBC One series ‘The Great British Bake Off,’ with baking products remaining ‘hugely popular’. The 69-strong chain also saw strong sales climb for its healthy eating category as well as its specialist cleaning, laundry and storage ranges.
The company attributed its ‘price promise’ initiative, coupled with its famous no-quibble guarantee, to a gain in market share in the highly competitive arena of electrical products, as more customers chose to buy products such as food processors, juicers and coffee machines.
Investment continued in the UK in 2014, with a new store opened in Inverness and other stores undergoing an extensive refit programme. These revamps are designed to enhance the customer in-store experience, with additions such as dedicated kitchen areas for live cooking demonstrations.
Last June saw the opening of Lakeland’s £10m extension at its distribution centre in Kendal, which allowed the business to effectively double its storage capacity and prepared it for continued expansion.
In May 2014, Lakeland embarked on the next phase of its international development, opening stores for the first time in India at Bangalore and Pune. The Lakeland business in the Middle East continued to see positive growth too, with 11 stores trading in the Middle East at the end of 2014:
Lakeland now produces 26 catalogues a year for the UK, German, Indian and Middle East markets as well as four seasonal editions of its award-winning magazine app. In 2015, over 55% of all traffic to the Lakeland website is via a mobile device. Online sales are up by 20% year-on-year and international sales are up by 34%.
Bob Granger, Lakeland’s retail and finance director commented: “It’s an exciting time for Lakeland. Previous years of investment for the growth of the business have come to fruition, and coupled with the continued popularity of our product ranges, we’re seeing a marked increase in profitability. These long term investments have secured Lakeland’s market position as a competitive retailer and should continue to positively impact the business in the years to come.”