"I got the idea when we were buying stock for the Chemist Direct office. I noticed we were just randomly buying things on credit card – printers, paper for invoices, that sort of thing. I thought there must be cheaper options." A little investigation into the mark-up on stationery goods confirmed Soma’s suspicions: “I found there were really good margins and an opportunity to undercut the big players.”
It’s a model he’s confident will work. Just two years on from its launch, Chemist Direct has rocketed to a £20m-turnover business by drastically under-cutting high-street pharmacies.
A quick squizz at the website shows you just how much you’re saving by buying your pencils and paperclips at Stationery Direct. A price comparison page lists, per item, what you’d pay at Viking Direct, Staples and Rymans. The savings through Soma’s discount website are impressive – up to 95 per cent on some items.
With Chemist Direct fast becoming a household name – not to mention scooping the prestigious Young Company of the Year gong at our recent Real Business/CBI Growing Business Awards – Soma will fancy his chances at turning Stationery Direct into the go-to site for consumers looking to cut costs.
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