Family firm eyes growth opportunities amid homeware boom

James Pike, managing director, and Graham Cooke, chairman of Cookes Furniture Group

Cookes Group has announced it is planning to add to its 60-strong team and expand its footprint across the region after enjoying a growth in sales over the summer, boosted by increase in people investing in their homes during lockdown.

Cookes Group, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2021, initially received a £200,000 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) from Lloyds Bank to support the overheads of its three trading businesses – Cookes Furniture, Cookes Storage and two Ripples Bathroom franchises – during lockdown.

The group is now eyeing geographical expansion to capitalise on growing sales.

The planned expansion will add to its existing showrooms and storage facilities in Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield.

The £13m turnover group is also accelerating its recruitment plans across its delivery, sales and after-sales departments as it returns to a position of strength and exceeds pre-Covid forecasts for the year.

James Pike, managing director at Cookes Group, said: “Like many retailers, we endured a difficult spring due to enforced closure and had real concerns about the year ahead. However, we quickly went into planning mode with Lloyds Bank by our side providing the safety net we needed to continue trading and get in shape for when we were able to re-open. We’ve been fortunate that people are falling in love with their homes again and we’re now considering how we can best use the available support to pursue growth opportunities and to re-invest in the Midlands.”

Andy Woolman, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Cookes is fast-approaching a major milestone with a strong third-generation leadership team at the helm. As is the case with other management teams across the region, they are evaluating and investing in the areas of the business that will serve them best in the future. Next year will undoubtedly present challenges in the same vein as 2020 but I’m sure it will be a year in which the group celebrates further positive growth.”
James Pike, managing director, and Graham Cooke, chairman of Cookes Furniture Group