We’re proud to have supported the growth and expansion of the UK’s leading specialist bathroom retailer, bathstore. At the time of our acquisition the Watford-based company has over 160 stores nationwide, an annual turnover of £85 million and 500 staff.
Under the ownership of builders’ merchants Wolseley, bathstore had seen a period in which they added over 130 stores in 5 years (2003-2008). Owing to the economic crisis, the company was forced to restructure. Store closures and a fall in sales followed and by 2013 Wolseley had decided it was non-core.
In May 2012, Endless acquired bathstore from Wolseley. We acted with speed and completed the transaction in an accelerated timeframe, within just two weeks of agreeing Heads of Terms. As ever, we did all our own due diligence and funded the transaction fully from our own resources. This meant the company’s future as an independent retail brand was quickly secured.
“The bathstore brand is widely recognised and associated with great value and a high quality product offering. Everyone we have met in the business shares the same passion for the brand and we look forward to working with them to develop that vision and make bathstore an even stronger force in the market moving forward.” Indra Harrison, Associate Director, Endless, 2012.
To help build the bathstore brand and develop its product offering, we invested a further £11 million. As a result, in the time of our involvement bathstore was able to expand its store estate – creating new jobs and further cultivating the brand.
We were also able to spot an exciting opportunity for growth in e-commerce, which the company took full advantage of, boosting its online sales and meeting the changing needs of consumers. This switch to a true multi-channel model, alongside the high street development, enabled the chain to continue to grow and meet our projections.
After a strong, successful period with bathstore, its success was well known and potential investors were contacting us regularly. This led to a secondary management buyout in June 2014, led by Chief Executive Gary Favell, which was great news for both the Endless team and bathstore.
“Endless’ support has been invaluable in helping us deliver the improvement in business performance. With their support we have re-established bathstore as the market-leading brand in the sector. With our new partner we will continue bathstore’s growth into the future.”
Gary Favell, Chief Executive, bathstore, July 2014
bathstore continues to grow and cement its place as a successful independent bathroom retailer. The Endless transformation has seen it claim a significant segment of the UK bathrooms market and become a trusted expert within it.
We secured a significant return on our investment, showing the value we added as well as the new position and success of the chain. On exit, we had a strong relationship with the bathstore team and we wish them the best success in the future.