Online kitchen retailer targets Europe as sales soar 37%

Gloucester-based e-commerce kitchen furniture retailer Direct Online Services has revealed it is targeting Europe for growth following a boost in UK sales.

The company said it was accelerating its expansion across continental Europe, where there is a less developed market and has opened a new showroom in Viernheim, Germany.

Direct Online Services is the e-commerce platform behind kitchen furniture brand Worktop Express and was founded in 2008 by father-and-son team Martyn and Will Rees.

The company’s turnover increased from £18 million in 2015 to £22m in 2016 and is currently on track, it said, to top £30m in 2017.

It has seen revenue increase by 37% in the past year alone following an “ambitious” expansion programme across the UK and Europe, and has plans to achieve 67% growth over the next two years.

In October 2016, Direct Online Services secured a £3m investment from Business Growth Fund (BGF), the UK’s most active provider of capital to small- and mid-sized businesses, which enabled it to grow “exponentially” by expanding its product range and investing further in staff, IT, operations and marketing.

The company has also seen headcount increase from 100 employees in 2015 to more than 200, with 10% of them being based in Europe.

It will also be opening two new sites in the UK later this year, including one in Glasgow next month.

Following the BGF’s investment, Direct Online Services said it was also planning to expand on its product range, which was launched in 2016, by developing a variety of high-quality laminate worktops that it claimed are capable of outperforming traditional materials.

The firm also said that having control over its own distribution allowed it to guarantee next-day delivery and scale-up the business without compromising customer satisfaction.

Will Rees (pictured left), director of Direct Online Services, said: “We are extremely proud of the growth we have achieved over the past few years, but we won’t be taking our foot off the pedal now. We will be expanding our model across Europe, where there is a growing appetite for premium kitchen furniture and strong demand for excellent customer service. Our IT-led approach and relentless customer focus will allow us to scale-up efficiently while maintaining our commitment to flawless and speedy delivery.”

Edwin Davies, investor at BGF, commented: “The rapid growth of Direct Online Services is a testament to the confidence and ambition of Martyn and Will. Direct Online Services has used BGF’s growth capital investment to scale up the business, exploring new markets while maintaining its commitment to excellent customer service. I look forward to our continued involvement with Direct Online Services as it expands across Europe.”

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