A bathroom supplier that has built a network of more than 90 branches in less than 10 years has made its first move into East Yorkshire as it pursues plans to become the UK leader in its sector.
Easy Bathrooms, which was launched in Leeds in 2012, has opened a new showroom at The Trade Yard Willerby, part of the series of sites developed by Hull-based Allenby Commercial in recent years to support the construction and DIY sector.
With a location next to the busy Willerby Shopping Park and with neighbours at The Trade Yard including Screwfix and Toolstation, the new showroom was busy even before the official opening at the weekend.
Tomas Sereika, manager of the store, said: “We expected to do really well because thousands of people use the big retail park and the only way out is past our front door, but we had a soft opening initially and were crazy busy! In addition to the families from the shops we had the traders coming here for the other businesses and discovering us.”
Easy Bathrooms has 11 branches in South and West Yorkshire with another 80 stretching from the M62 corridor to the south coast and a workforce of nearly 600. Before the new opening the nearest branches to Hull were Doncaster and Lincoln.
The company recently announced plans for a new £5 million headquarters in Wakefield, the opening of its 100th store by Christmas and a target of 175 showrooms by 2023.
Tomas and his assistant manager Andy Musgrave form a full-time team of four at the new branch and between them bring extensive experience in the bathrooms and tiling sector. The new store offers nearly 5,500 square feet of display space on the ground floor with around 3,000 square feet of mezzanine space.
Tomas said: “I am delighted to join an established bathroom brand which has plans to expand and become the UK’s number-one bathroom supplier. The products we have in store are bang on trend and suit any type of project.
“The layout of the store enables us to give customers an idea of how to style the fittings, and our expert bathroom team will help people design and visualise their space free of charge using our award-winning ArtiCAD 3D system.
“The team and I are incredibly proud to offer the area’s most inspirational bathroom showroom. Buying a new bathroom is a big thing for people because they will be using it every day and for a long time. It’s important for us to ensure that when a customer walks in they get their own personal designer and can leave with a better understanding of what can be achieved with their bathroom refit.”
Easy Bathrooms has invested £100,000 in fitting out the new store, which is open to the trade and the public seven days a week.
Neil Bell, head of retail for Easy Bathrooms, said: “We are expanding our stores with the intention of creating a network of showrooms where people can see, touch and try our products before making a purchase – alongside increasing online sales.
“During a period when there’s plenty of doom and gloom surrounding the UK high street, we are proud to expand and open bricks and mortar stores, alongside growing our online presence.”
The Trade Yard concept has supported the creation of nearly 200 jobs across the Humber area since being launched by Allenby Commercial in Beverley in 2016. The Beverley site is now full and The Trade Yard Scunthorpe, which was the second to open in 2017, will be expanded with a second phase of development.
One unnamed national brand has already been secured as the first tenant at The Trade Yard Immingham, where work will begin soon. Also in the pipeline is The Trade Yard Driffield, where two of the four units have been snapped up before work has begun.
Allenby Commercial is now in advanced negotiations over the final unit at The Trade Yard Willerby.
Paul Swallow, the company’s contracts manager, said: “The Trade Yard concept proved very popular from the outset, attracting a good mix of national brands and local operators. As all the new occupiers have found, the Willerby site has the added benefit of significant footfall from the retail park.
“We’re delighted that Easy Bathrooms have chosen The Trade Yard Willerby as they continue their own phenomenal expansion and we are confident that they will soon have a new neighbour and another of our sites will be at capacity.”