IBO to IPO
Endless invested into The Works in 2008 and we are delighted to have witnessed one of the most remarkable business transformations we have been involved with, as The Works has become one of the UK’s pre-eminent discount retailers.
In its ten years of ownership of The Works, Endless has worked alongside the management team led by Dean Hoyle and Kevin Keaney in repositioning The Works from a retailer of remainder books to become the UK’s leading retailer of Gifts, Art Materials, Craft Materials, Hobbies, Stationery, Toys and Books, whose customers love its constantly changing array of great value products.
The transformation has been driven by continued investment in the business’ infrastructure. Profits were reinvested in the business, helping to expand the chain from 208 outlets to 447 and developing its ecommerce division and logistics network. With revenues exceeding £190 million, the business plans is targeting to open more than 50 stores each year for the foreseeable future, and to support this growth in 2017, The Works relocated to a new 183,000 sq ft support and distribution centre, located in Coleshill, Birmingham which will provide the capacity to support up to 1,000 stores and concessions across the UK and Ireland. Similarly, a range of tech infrastructure investments have boosted the retailer’s online performance, with eCommerce sales growing in excess of 30% year on year . Initiatives such as the “Together” reward scheme, which boasts more than 2 million members and a free click & collect service have helped mitigate falling footfall on the High Street.
Kevin Keaney said:
“We really are bucking the retail trend. Endless have allowed me to plough every penny back in to the business and it is a very exciting time. We have a niche family-friendly and multi-channel proposition that no other discount retailer has been able to do.”
Initial Public Offering
On the back of the tremendous growth experienced in recent years on 19th July 2018 The Works completed an initial public offering (IPO) onto the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of £100 million on admission. The listing — the first flotation of a company backed by Endless marks a dramatic turnaround for The Works, and Endless is very proud of its role in taking the retailer from administration in 2008 to a position of strength.
Kevin Keaney, CEO of The Works, commented:
"Today represents a significant milestone for The Works and we're extremely pleased with the level of interest we've received from investors in our business.
They've seen what our customers see every day - a unique and exciting retail experience that combines value, quality and variety that's available online and in-store.
With a highly experienced management team, energised staff and compelling offer, we are well-positioned for further growth. We're grateful to our exiting shareholders Endless, whose support has enabled us to get here today and look forward to welcoming new shareholders to join us in this exciting new chapter for the business."
Garry Wilson, executive chairman of Endless said:
“I know private equity doesn’t always manage its reputation very well, but The Works was a business that ten years ago was in a very tough place. It was selling remainder books and everyone thought it was an irrelevant business that would be taken over by Kindle . . . but year after year this business has just got better.”