Strategy change and store rollout delivers for mobility retail chain

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Oak Tree Mobility, the parent group of expanding industry chain Middletons, has hailed its new medium term strategy as a success which has paved the way for its long-term growth as it leaves its ‘year of transition’ behind.

The company’s operating profits grew again following a year of heavy investment in its portfolio, which has seen Middletons open a raft of new retail outlets across the UK.

Profits were nearly £40,000 in the year ending 26 August 2018, up from around £2,000 in the previous period, according to Oak Tree Mobility’s annual report.

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Meanwhile, the Bristol-based company, which specialises in mobility furniture, turned over more than £18m as Middletons passed the half-way mark of its goal to have a portfolio of 22 stores by 2021.

The director’s report noted that the management team’s strategy of focusing on quality business while controlling costs has “started to bear fruit”. Oak Tree’s KPIs – gross margin and EBITDA margin – both grew 9% and 22%, respectively.

The report said: “These changes in strategy will continue to bear greater benefits going forward as the business moves away from this transitional year.”

Oak Tree’s ‘transitional year’ followed on from a turning point in the business, which saw it undergo fundamental changes and secure £4m investment in its Middletons concept, which is centred on a new type of mobility retail experience.   

The report said: “[The investment] was a momentous achievement that both back management’s vision for the Company and allows them to deliver on their longer term aims.

“Throughout this transitional year the Company has continued with its core activity of selling mobility furniture driving forward the director’s aims to maintain its position as the industry leader with its sector.”

It added that the changes made will deliver a stronger set of results in the next year.

Oak Tree made a series of appointments in its latest financial year to strengthen its executive board and management team. A non-executive chairman and non-executive director were brought in to increase experience within the board.

Middletons opened two new outlets in Coventry and Cheltenham at the beginning of this year. Up until February, most of Middletons’ new stores opened in the South Wales and Bristol area but its latest launches mark a move further eastwards.

Each of Middletons’ showrooms are designed to give the customer a pleasant shopping environment and the floorplans are based more on a furniture retailer rather than that of a traditional mobility dealer.

The company’s bosses, Ricky Towler and Tom Powell, hope to grow the concept to the extent that there is a Middletons store within a 50 mile radius of one another in the UK.

CLICK HERE to see a gallery of a Middletons store.

Tags : oak treeoak tree mobility
Joe Peskett

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