Mattressman expansion answers bigger online need

Andrew Kerry, Managing Director of Mattressman; Picture: James Bass; EDP Biz; Eastern Daily Press Â

Andrew Kerry, Managing Director of Mattressman; Picture: James Bass; EDP Biz; Eastern Daily Press © 2009 (01603) 772434 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009

Norwich-based Mattressman said an upsurge in online orders has inspired a move to expand further into London and Essex.

The growth plans will see a 1,600 sq feet store opened in Newbury Park, Ilford, and a 2,000 sq feet site launched on Deacon Industrial Estate, Chingford – creating five new jobs.

And the firm is also eyeing-up opportunities to bolster its presence further by opening more stores in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, and around the M25.

Mr Kerry's expansion flies in the face of recent economic forecasts which suggest businesses will close bricks and mortar shops as their online sales increase.

Mattressman's latest results showed a slight dip in turnover from £14.7m in 2011 to £14.1m in 2012 after the firm saw a slow down in orders caused by the recession.

But it is aiming to boost revenues this year to £16m by opening new stores.

Mr Kerry said its decision to open smaller retail outlets came from its success with furniture supplier Focus before the company collapsed into administration.

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He said: 'If you can keep the overheads low by having smaller premises then you can afford to do well both online and with a bricks and mortar store. It is about changing the dynamic from a large-scale premises.

'We saw success of having a 2,000 sq ft bricks and mortar store when we had a presence in Focus before it closed.'

'Today, retailers have to be flexible to succeed and offer customers the option of ordering on-line or having the opportunity to go and see the goods for themselves and discuss them with knowledgeable and friendly staff. That is why we are continuing to open more stores.

'We were sending two lorries a day from our Norwich HQ to London to service our on-line customers so we knew there was a demand for our products in that area.

He said: 'We will be opening more stores around the M25 in the greater London area so we have the capital and its huge population covered. Then we will turn our attention to Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.'

Last year, the firm opened the British Bed Company factory in Norwich with plans to double its workforce in three years.