Interviews

The UK’s fastest growing private companies: Hot 100 2015 – (44) Better Bathrooms

2 min read

26 June 2015

Deputy Editor, Real Business

The springboard to Better Bathrooms’ ambitious expansion plans has been the £10m external funding that it received from the Business Growth Fund.

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Name: Better Bathrooms
Industry/sector: Retail and related services
Date founded: 2001
The boss: Colin Stevens
Location: North West
Latest turnover: £37.5m
Three-year compound growth rate (%): 42.63
Latest EBITDA: £4.9m

According to the global market researchers Mintel, the UK bathroom fixtures and fittings retail market is currently valued at £1bn annually and is expected to experience continued growth. 

Better Bathrooms’ success, claimed founder Colin Stevens, was due to beating rivals to build up a customer base through its website early on.

“We managed to get into the internet market when it wasn’t competitive and got a massive share,” he said. “Now our competitive advantage is on price, selection, and availability. If you want a bathroom suite tomorrow we can deliver it tomorrow. If you can collect it today, we can provide for that. We try to overstock so as not to let customers down.” 

And by using the Betterbathrooms.com website, Stevens has been able to pinpoint where best to locate his new showrooms, so geographical traffic “hot spots” on the website will be prime targets for showroom locations.

Stevens has issued rallying call for 12,500 to 20,000 sq ft spaces across the nation.
In 2014, five showrooms opened in spaces including Slough, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh, as Stevens seeks to fulfil his ambition of generating £100m sales by 2017. He also hopes for the Better Bathrooms brand to be as big as B&Q. 

He noted that the showrooms in Wigan, Warrington and Manchester led to Better Bathrooms mixing with the big retailers. His showroom scheme was able speed up through finance received via the Business Growth Fund. It invested £10m of growth capital in the company back in 2013. In addition, the fund introduced Paul Gilbert, non-executive chairman of The Gym Group and former FD of Matalan, as the new non-executive chairman of the business.

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