Paul McClenaghan, CEO and Martin Hargreaves, CFO, Victoria Plum
Victoria Plum is a fast-growing online trade and consumer bathroom product retailer and installer. The Doncaster-headquartered company most recently reported a record 46 per cent increase in sales to £103 million and an EBITDA up 115 per cent to £4.5 million.
The company’s outstanding growth can be attributed to a successful management-led turnaround, following the business’s acquisition by private equity fund Endless in October 2019. Since then, Victoria Plum has undergone an extraordinary transformation under the leadership of chief executive Paul McClenaghan and his senior management team.
Today, the business is ideally positioned and configured to further capitalise upon the speeding up of the structural shift to online retail.
So, what are the secrets of Victoria Plum’s success? ‘Our mission is to be known as the most trusted, most respected and most profitable bathroom product provider,’ explains Paul McClenaghan. ‘We also know that to achieve this goal, we must revolutionise and disrupt the bathroom installation industry. This, in turn, informs our strategic and tactical decision-making. It led us to develop and launch our bathroom design and installation service, a move that clearly differentiates us and creates higher value transactions and deeper customer relationships.
‘Whether it is a complete bathroom installation or a product fix, we believe that when a customer comes to us to buy a shower or a tap, what they really want is hot and cold running water. This means we understand that we don’t simply sell bathroom products. What we truly sell is customisable experiences that people become emotionally invested in.’
From selection to purchase and from design to installation, Victoria Plum provides a clear, simplified and frictionless process that meets the real needs of its customers.
The company’s investment in its design and installation service has truly set the brand apart. By building upon the firm foundations provided by Victoria Plum’s customer-verified reputation for trust and quality, the company has set new standards and expectations in the marketplace.
‘We also know that we are the only online bathroom product retailer with the infrastructure and capability to successfully deliver this end-to-end service,’ says McClenaghan. ‘This is a true competitive advantage that we will continue to further evolve and drive ahead because it structurally differentiates our brand.
‘We also benefit from having a first-class, multi-award winning delivery service employing our own teams, which means we can meet customer expectations around delivery timescales.
Victoria Plum is entirely customer-focused and data-driven, with the latter enabling the former. The company seeks out and utilises the latest technology innovations to further refine its competitive advantage. This includes implementing advanced AI to manage customer queries and identifying consumer and trade market and buying trends to further improve and target Victoria Plum’s offer.
The business’s most vital element in its formula for success is its people. Victoria Plum has established and maintained an inclusive culture it is extremely proud of – particularly as, with the exception of its warehouse and distribution teams, everyone at Victoria Plum now works remotely.
‘We took the decision to work remotely at the end of March 2020 and have not looked back,’ says McClenaghan. ‘We have no intention of returning to the old way of entirely office-based working. Instead, we have turned the office space within our 275,000 sq ft Doncaster distribution centre and a new location in Hessle, near Hull, into hubs where people can work and meet according to requirements.
‘We are committed to investing in our people and providing everyone with opportunities for growth and development because we know our people are critical to our ongoing success.’
With the positive transformation of the business continuing at pace, and following an outstanding set of financial results, what’s next for Victoria Plum?
‘We have an ambitious growth strategy and are committed to further accelerating our rate of expansion,’ says McClenaghan. ‘We see no reason why we cannot continue to expand at the speed we want to. Our market fundamentals are strong and we have the necessary scalable infrastructure in place and a clearly differentiated design and installation service that is rapidly growing in demand.
‘In addition, the constant stream of valuable data and consumer insights we receive and interpret means we have the agility to quickly adapt our product offer to meet market requirements, keeping us ahead of the game. We are ideally positioned to make Victoria Plum the most trusted, respected and profitable bathroom product provider.’
Victoria Plum is an online bathroom retailing sensation. Find out why at www.victoriaplum.com.