Bathroom retailer to create jobs in £5m move

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Easy Bathrooms has announced a £5m investment to take on a purpose-built 330,000 sq. ft. facility at Calder Park in Wakefield, which will become its new state-of-the-art HQ and distribution centre.

The site which is owned, and being developed by, Tungsten Properties, will replace the firm’s existing 125,000 sq. ft. HQ in Birstall, although the business will retain the site, which also includes what was its 11th showroom in 2017.

The base will sit alongside the company’s 92 showrooms across the UK, and take its physical footprint to over 1m sq ft.

The expansion also paves the way for the creation of 100-150 new jobs at the head office over the next two years, as well as 373 new staff to be employed throughout the UK at new showrooms. Already employing 580 people, it will make Easy Bathrooms the largest employer within the UK bathroom market.

The business plans to open its 100th store before Christmas, having opened an average of 20 showrooms per year since 2017 – and 34 over the past year alone – whilst growing revenue by 33% to £60m.

Craig Waddington, who founded Easy Bathrooms in 2012, said: “We have grown extraordinarily quickly, particularly during the pandemic. Our current Birstall HQ has served us well, but in truth, we outgrew it a long time ago.

“At our current HQ, we operate with just two roller shutters – there are no dock leveller doors – and we have just 7,000 pallet spaces. It’s incredible, and a testament to our warehouse team, that we’ve managed. Our stock has been spread across four smaller warehouses, which has been a logistical challenge. Our new site is 18m high at the eaves, and we will have 32 dock leveller doors; meaning that our fleet of vehicles can drive straight up to the warehouse ready to be loaded quickly and efficiently. We will be able to hold 58,000 pallets and significantly increase our stock holding, and which is important with the current global shipping disruptions.

“It will massively improve our customer service levels and allow us to double our own fleet of delivery vehicles – which is absolutely key to our growth.”

Tungsten Properties, one of the UK’s leading mid-box industrial and warehouse developers, completed the purchase of the 15.2-acre Calder Park site in August 2020 from Peel L&P Business Parks for £9.75m. Tungsten achieved a planning consent from Wakefield Council in March 2021 which resulted in a change in planning consent from B1 offices to B8 distribution.

Work started on the site earlier this month with practical completion expected in Q2 2022.

The letting has represented the single biggest deal for Tungsten Properties. Ian Dunckley, development director at Tungsten Properties, said: “To have secured Easy Bathrooms for their new distribution facility before starting on site is testament to the current high demand for new warehouse space in Yorkshire. We look forward to delivering an exceptionally sustainable and efficient building as we continue to deliver space in Yorkshire to create local jobs and to enable businesses to continue to grow.”

Waddington added continued: “At a time when others are asking staff to permanently work from home, and are closing bricks and mortar stores, we are proud to be expanding our footprint and securing jobs for people.”

Savills and Moriarty & Co acted on behalf of Tungsten Properties; Peel L&P Business Parks represented themselves. Basharat Ali from Schofield Sweeney acted for Easy Bathrooms.