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Loaf sees new stores fuel growth

LoafStAFurniture retailer Loaf saw sales rise 16% in its past financial year while gross margin was increased.

Sales rose to £48m, gross margin rose from 48% to 49% and pre-tax profits rose from £2.56m to £2.61m in the year to 31 March.

During the year it opened three stores, increasing the number to seven. ‘As with previous openings, these all traded well and in line with projections,’ says the company. Since then it has opened an eighth branch in Bristol. 

The profit rise came after costs of strategic advice, the consolidation of two warehouses, the opening of a new head office and store openings. ‘This resulted in profit before tax being only slightly above the previous year, but still at a respectable level given the continued growth and challenging economic backdrop.

‘Notwithstanding the inevitable volatility that Brexit may bring to the sector, trading since the year end has continued positively and the directors have continued to invest in the Company to ensure it is well placed to continue growing.

‘Competition In the online furniture market has increased in recent years with more companies entering the market place. These new entrants typically adopt aggressive marketing strategies to acquire new customers. The company believes that its strong brand, track record of innovation, exclusive high quality products, multichannel approach and disciplined focus on customer satisfaction will continue to mitigate the impact of new market entrants.

‘Economic and market conditions have been challenging and are expected to remain so. There is uncertainty surrounding the global economy and this is impacting consumer confidence and discretionary spending. Brexlt negotiation adds to the uncertainty,’ says Chris Marshall, Loaf founder.