A Newport-based mobility retailer has laid out its ambitions of operating 24 stores and achieving £40m turnover within the next three years after it received nearly £4m of funding from the Development Bank of Wales and clients of the Wealth Club.
Middletons, which has three stores in Newport, Bristol and Cardiff, and also runs another mobility dealership – Oak Tree Mobility – will be opening its latest outlet in Swansea later this month.
The company, which is just five years old and has a group turnover of around £23m, plans to roll new stores out across Wales before moving into England, according to an Insider report.
Founder Tom Powell told Insider of his plans to have 24 Middletons stores in three years and become “one of the biggest mobility retailers in the UK”, with a projected turnover of £40m.
He said: “They’re big plans, it’s ambitious but achievable. We’re really pleased with the investment and the investors we’ve had so far, they’ve been great throughout, couldn’t have asked for better.”
Ricky Towler, co-founder and managing director of Middletons, was already working in the mobility sector before starting the company and felt there was an opportunity to exploit a gap in the market.
“I was working in the sector and saw that there was an opportunity to improve the product experience for customers,” he said.
“I spoke to my long term friend Tom and he agreed. We started the business by travelling around the country with stock to show potential customers. These are important purchases for people who are often elderly or infirm and we wanted to make sure we could help them get the right product.
“To do that people need to be able to test it out, ride a scooter, find what is comfortable and works for them. Tom and I soon moved into bricks and mortar stores – which our customers really love.
“This investment from the development bank and Wealth Club will allow us to grow quickly over the next five years, offering our products and service to an even bigger customer base.”
Meanwhile, deputy fund manager at the Development Bank of Wales, Bethan Cousins, told Insider: “Meeting Ricky and Tom we knew this was an exciting equity opportunity. Their passion for customer care and their vision for the business really impressed us.
“Our capital provides certainty for the company to rapidly expand their retail network to 22 stores – making Middletons a significant market player over the next two to three years.
“We’re constantly looking to expand our co-investor network and we look forward to working with Wealth Club in the future.”
The chief executive of the Wealth Club, Alex Davies, hopes Middletons will be successful because of ‘fragmented competition’ in the mobility retail market.
The South Wales mobility retail landscape is currently dominated by Bush Healthcare, which has 10 stores and recently revealed to AMP it is making its first foray into England with two new openings.