Online retailer creating 50 jobs in expansion to bigger premises

E-commerce retailer OHS

Manchester e-commerce business, OHS, which has seen its online turnover increase by 300%, is creating 50 jobs by relocating to a new, purpose-built, £5m premises.

Works start this week on building a 70,000 sq ft facility on Manchester’s Wardley Industrial Estate in Worsley that will house online home shop OHS’s new head office and warehouse facilities, as well as a photography studio.

The business is expected to move into its new home, which will boast double its current storage capacity on the Wardley estate, in February 2022.

OHS sells value home products and has seen the trend for buying home accessories online boom during the pandemic.

The investment in the build of the bespoke premises marks the start of an ambitious five year, high growth, plan for the business, that comes on the back of its most successful year to date.

Launched in 2014, OHS initially focused its product offering on bedding. However, since launch OHS has consistently increased turnover by an average of 200% year-on-year, growing its range of own branded product offer to now include rugs, throws, curtains, and towels. Also as a result of the lockdown boom in loungewear, the business has just added its own branded line of OHS loungewear as a new category on its site.

OHS is aimed at ‘generation rent’ – shoppers looking to style their home for less – and says it was perfectly placed to ride out not only the growth in the home interiors sector driven by the lockdown across the UK in 2020/21, but also the continued structural shift online.

A recent report by UK merchant payment provider, Dojo, analysed and ranked which industries benefited from the ‘unforeseen changes’ in consumer lifestyles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report revealed that soft furnishing sales soared dramatically as the public sought to make their homes a sanctuary, outlining how the industry benefited more than any other, with sales growth of 500% since the start of the pandemic. The UK value soft furnishing segment remains underpenetrated online versus other consumer segments.

Moshe Cohen, managing director at OHS, said: “The last twelve months have been extremely challenging for many industries, but we are delighted to have seen a continued and growing demand for buying home furnishings online, during this time. Over the past 12 months people have been investing in their homes, a trend that we expect to continue with the current boom playing out in the UK property market.

“As a result of this, and the phenomenal growth we have experienced every year since launching OHS, we have put in motion an ambitious five year plan for the business.

“Having the right infrastructure in place is integral to achieving our aims and the start of works on the building of our new premises is the beginning of this and more great things to come.”

OHS’s relocation next year will see 50 roles created across its warehousing, marketing, product development, design, merchandising, accounting and ecommerce divisions. This growth will come on top of the investments by the business, over the past 12 months which have expanded its ecommerce and product teams, adding 30 new staff to its ranks and taking the total number of employees to 50.

The new premises, which will be home to more than 100 OHS staff, will provide double the storage capacity of the current premises, and alongside automated dock loading functions, this will enable the operation to both hold and turnover a greater volume of stock.

The contractor on the new build premises is B Melling Building Contractors and Shopfitters, with the project being managed by Black Cat Building Consultancy.

The OHS business is owned by the Cohen family which also owns the wholesaler, Pin Mill Textiles, which supplies home textiles for the bedroom, bathroom and living room to big name, large, value retailers across the UK, and is based on the Wardley Industrial Estate.

Pin Mill Textiles was founded in 1952 and, following the retail shift to online, the family realised the opportunity to build on its existing portfolio, which also includes four specific product brands, with expansion into a direct to consumer ecommerce channel.

The group achieved sales in excess of £30m in 2020.