Bensons for Beds secures new backing from Alteri Investors to drive growth

Accrington-based beds retailer, Bensons for Beds, has secured additional funding from its owner, Alteri Investors, to drive its growth strategy and transformation plans.

Alteri’s new, undisclosed, investment comes two years after it first invested £25m in Bensons.

The fresh capital is set to support investment in retail, manufacturing, digital and distribution, and providing it with financial flexibility as it emerges from post-COVID disruption.

Specifically, digital development will be accelerated as Bensons integrates its online platform with its growing store network.

The investment will also help Bensons grow its store portfolio across England, Scotland and Wales.

Operating from 166 stores today, Bensons aims to create a network of 180-190 physical locations over the next two years and continue relocating into better units in the towns from which it already trades.

Bensons is also planning to explore new formats that integrate its physical and digital offer, as it brings its sleep brand to more places.

The Alteri funding will also enhance Bensons’ logistics network, especially at its Tewkesbury distribution centre, which is being revamped to increase capacity, speed up delivery times and align it with customer service levels at its other centres in Huncoat and Ayr.

Investment in Bensons’ Huntingdon manufacturing site will be increased.

The facility which employs 300 people and remained in production throughout the pandemic, opened in 1962 and makes BSI Kite Mark mattresses under Bensons’ private label brands, such as Staples & Co, Slumberland and Simply by Bensons.

Underlining Huntingdon’s design credentials and craftsmanship, Bensons has, this month, been awarded seven Good Housekeeping endorsements for a selection of Slumberland mattresses manufactured at the factory.

Separately, Bensons also confirmed that it had appointed highly experienced supply, logistics and manufacturing expert, Gavin Chappell, as chief operating officer.

Gavin joins Bensons after a 30-year retail career in senior operating and executive board roles at Asda, Boots, Dunelm and Holland and Barrett.

Ian Shepherd, chairman of Bensons for Beds, said: “This is an important time for Bensons. Alteri’s investment enables us to step up our transformation programme across all areas of the business.

“I’m also delighted to welcome someone of Gavin’s experience to our board – he’s going to make a significant contribution to our plans.”

He added: “We’ve made great progress towards our goal of becoming a market-leading omnichannel retailer. There is still plenty to do and this investment will make a big difference, especially at a time when so many retailers are facing strong economic headwinds and the impact of high inflation.”

Gavin George, CEO of Alteri Investors, said: “Alteri remains fully committed to the future of Bensons and this new investment marks another milestone as we build on the strong foundations that have been laid over the past two years.

“We will continue to work closely with the management team so the business can realise its full potential.”