Loaf to launch first store following online success

Posted June 1st, 2015

Following online success, British retailer Loaf (Loaf.com) is set to launch its first store in autumn 2015. The six-year old furniture and accessories brand is moving into a physical retail space following rapid growth. With sales of £27m (inc. VAT) for 2014/15, the expansion will help to achieve the goal of growing sales to £100m over the next few years.

Having started out with a select offering of just 12 beds and one perfect mattress back in 2008, today they cover the entire home and are ranked as the 52nd fastest growing brand in the UK (The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100).

The 7,500 sq ft space, called a 'Loaf Shack', will be located in London's fast-developing Battersea area. Charlie Marshall, the forty-year-old founder of Loaf, aims to create the most laid-back showroom in Britain:

"We want customers to feel relaxed enough to kick-off their shoes, put their feet up and experience why we're dubbed 'the sultans of snug'. In fact, I'd call it less of a showroom and more of a Slowroom!"

Research shows that there is still a proportion of customers who want to see and touch the products first-hand. In keeping with their mission of making laid-back furniture for people to live happier, more relaxed lives, Loaf's first ever Shack will not be your typical showroom. The retail destination will include all sorts of fun and interactive elements ranging from an ice cream parlour to old school chill-out areas and "The Snugville Mattress Testing Arena".

Loaf has bucked the dot com trend with their move to become a multi-channel retailer. Marshall believes that the future of ecommerce will see brands migrate to large physical spaces with multi-channel platforms working more intelligently alongside each other: "Back when we launched there weren't many dedicated online retailers for just beds - they tended to be physical shops with websites added. The opportunity for us then was to sell beautiful products faster and cheaper than the high street. Today it's no longer just about price, it's increasingly about quality, service and brand allegiance."

Loaf attributes their success to responding to the demand for characterful, handmade and affordable furniture along with outstanding customer service. Marshall sees "the old school as the new school" placing importance on keeping the brand magic and focusing on customer handholding, rather than bamboozling visitors with flashy technology. The idea is that the website, brochure and Loaf Shack will all sync seamlessly for an enriched customer journey. For Marshall, "Loaf's move to bricks and clicks is all about reaffirming our brand and giving customers a fantastic experience."

- NOTES TO EDITOR -

  • Having lost a whole Saturday trying to buy a bed, Charlie Marshall saw an opportunity to make the shopping experience as quick and hassle-free as possible. So two years, 187 mattress and bed factories later, Loaf was born in December 2008. The predominantly online store launched with a select range of 12 beautifully made beds and just one perfect mattress. Today they cover the entire home. While most were waiting for the financial markets to improve, entrepreneur Marshall saw the downturn as the ideal time to launch a business. The fuss-free formula worked and having covered the bedroom they launched sofas in 2012 - now making up a significant part of the business
  • The comfy sofas and upholstered beds are hand-produced in Long Eaton, Derbyshire - the heart of British upholstery making. And the mattresses are handmade in Wiltshire
  • In October 2012 Loaf rebranded from their original name of The Sleep Room. A new name was needed to communicate the extended offering for the whole home. Everything else remained the same. Same company. Same people. Same customer service. Just a hop across to Loaf.com
  • In January 2014 Peter Simon, the founder of Monsoon and Accessorize, took a significant minority stake in Loaf for an undisclosed sum
  • Loaf's team is now 65-strong having doubled in size over the last year

LOAF.COM

PRESS CONTACT: Sally Flower at Loaf

sally@loaf.com / 020 3141 8372