Beds retailer achieves return to operating profitability

Accrington-based Bensons for Beds has achieved a return to operating profitability and confirmed it saw two-year like-for-like growth of 10.5% in the key seven-week trading period ending January 15, as its transformation programme continued to gather momentum.

Alongside publishing its accounts to September 2021, Bensons also confirmed its strong sales and return to operating profitability, has been driven by new investment in its omnichannel strategy, including a new e-commerce platform, further product innovation and accelerated store relocations and refurbishments.

For the five months to September 30, 2021, the company turned over £101.9m and delivered an operating profit of £1.6m, a step-on from the 10-month trading period to April 30, 2021 where it generated revenue of £148.4m and an operating loss on continuing operations of £24.9m.

Bensons is backed by Alteri, the specialist European retail sector investor, establishing Bensons as a standalone business in 2020. Bensons’ return to operating profitability has been enabled by the ongoing delivery of a transformation programme to build a platform for sustainable growth.

The nationwide bed and mattress retailer saw its customer order book reach record levels in the autumn followed by double digit sales growth from the August Bank Holiday through to its post-Christmas peak. That strong performance has continued into the new year, both in-store and online.

In December, Bensons opened eight new stores, including five relocations – part of 20 new openings over the previous 12 months, taking the total number of stores to 179. Around 35 new stores and relocations are planned for 2022, with 15 in the first half of the year as Bensons accelerates its growth plans.

Chief executive Mark Jackson said: “I’m deeply thankful and grateful to colleagues right across the business for their hard work to transform Bensons into the retailer we know our customers want us to be.

“And while our return to profitability is an important milestone, it’s simply a consequence of doing the right thing by customers.

“Our transformation is not yet complete. In the year ahead we’ll keep focused on our customers, on how they want to shop with us – online and offline – and on making their experience as they invest in their sleep, as easy as it can be.”