BuyDirect4U takes up new warehouse

Loughborough-based manufacturer Charles Bentley & Son has purchased a new 202,000 sq ft warehouse in a deal worth £6m, in order to accommodate its rapidly expanding e-commerce brand, BuyDirect4U.

The 155-year-old company has undertaken an ambitious expansion project to move BuyDirect4U into the new warehouse on North Road, which was formerly occupied by Morris Cranes and is the largest single building in Loughborough.

BuyDirect4U was established in 2005 as an online retailer sourcing home, garden and leisure products from around the globe, selling directly online to customers in the UK and Europe under the Bentley brand name.

The company achieved a total online sales increase of 68% in 2014 and has already surpassed this for 2015.

Andrew Steel, General Manager, comments: “The move to our new warehouse has been one of our most ambitious projects to date, but it will allow us to create a more efficient pick, pack and ship operation. We have spent the last three months transforming the site, which was originally built for Morris Cranes, from a shell into a dedicated storage and dispatch facility. The warehouse has now been completely refitted and we have installed new FM2 Special flooring that is necessary for modern equipment working at the heights and speeds that are required in our rapidly expanding ecommerce business.

“The company’s focus will remain on quality, value for money and service. The additional space will not only allow us to expand the range of products we are able to offer, but will also give us enough space to create an onsite outlet store. We will also be building a dedicated photography studio with lifestyle sets, which will allow us to improve the quality of the images on our website.”

The finance for the purchase of the new warehouse was provided by NatWest.

Ian Pearce, relationship director for NatWest, said: “The firm is probably our oldest client in Leicestershire, having banked with us since 1860 when William Bentley founded the firm.

“Now in the 6th generation of family ownership, it shows just how long-lasting a relationship between a company and its bankers can be. We’re proud to support this latest phase in the firm’s continued success. It’s great news for both the company and the local economy.”

BuyDirect4U now has a team of 30 staff in its online sales department, working in conjunction with the Bentley head office, and sells more than 1,000 different products through its website.

Andrew adds: “We are continuing to grow and develop our drop ship business model, which will diversify our reliance on market places. We have now partnered with Tesco Direct to sell our products on their website and will be announcing additional partner sites shortly.”

James Bentley, Director of Charles Bentley & Son, comments: “The acquisition of this building represents a considerable commitment to the future growth of the Charles Bentley Business.”

Alex Reid of chartered surveyors Mather Jamie comments: “This is an excellent location for Charles Bentley & Son, as the former home of Morris Cranes is a very large, well located building that allows the company to significantly increase its storage capacity and expand its thriving business.

“A considerable amount of work has gone into this successful move, which will benefit Charles Bentley & Son and adds to the number of quality businesses establishing themselves or expanding into larger premises in the Loughborough area.”

Charles Bentley & Son Ltd, which was formed in 1860 and is still owned by the original Bentley family, is celebrating 155 years in business in 2015. The company originally started out providing brushes for Victorian chimney sweeps and is now a multi-million pound operation employing 175 people, with specialisms in the equestrian, cleaning and household sector.