Online Home Retail is one of the UK’s largest online bathroom retailers. Based in Evesham, Worcestershire, it employs approximately 70 people in IT, E-Commerce, Marketing and Distribution. Online Home Retail specialises in offering big bathroom brands at small online prices to a primarily consumer customer base through its flagship website www.plumbworld.co.uk. Offering 10,000 lines from major bathroom brands and a growing range of high quality, contemporary own branded products. The website attracts over half a million unique visitors every month and the Distribution Centre processes in excess of 140,000 orders per year.
Founded in October 1999 Plumbworld was the first E-commerce pure play in the UK bathroom market. Launched at the very start of the E-commerce revolution, several months before even Google launched its UK offering. Rapid year on year growth ensured that Plumbworld remained one of the largest online bathroom retailers through the recession and despite the entry of many aggressive competitors. Purchased by Grafton Group plc in 2007 from the business founder James Hickman who remains with the company today, in the position of CEO.
The core market for Plumbworld is mid-range, value seeking, ‘online-savvy’ consumers wishing to replace or repair their bathrooms. An increasingly important, and growing, secondary market is the younger generation of tradesman who is moving his business purchasing online. The significant buying power of Grafton Group plc allows Plumbworld to compete in the increasingly price sensitive online branded bathroom market. In addition, there is an increasing focus on developing own brand ‘white label’ products sourced direct from offshore markets to enrich the sales mix and drive margins. The main product groups generating sales are bathroom suites, shower enclosures, bathroom furniture, showers and bathroom accessories. Significant growth opportunities have been identified in alternative online channels which Online Home Retail is working to exploit aggressively over the coming 12 months. Version 2.0 of our industry leading E-commerce platform is under development and promises to deliver even greater competitive advantage through enhanced customer experience and integration of cutting edge technological innovations.