Today (14th September), Yorkshire-based Easy Bathrooms has announced a major deal to take on a purpose-built 330,000 sq. ft. facility at Calder Park in Wakefield, which will become its new state-of-the-art HQ and distribution centre. The site is owned, and being developed by, Tungsten Properties.
Whilst retaining its current 125,000 sq. ft. HQ in Birstall, Easy Bathrooms will invest £5m in the new facility. Alongside its 92 showrooms across the UK, it will mean their physical footprint will exceed 1million sq. ft.
The expansion will also pave the way for the creation of 100-150 new jobs at the head office over the next two years, as well as 373 new staff to be employed throughout the UK at new showrooms. Already employing 580 people, it will make Easy Bathrooms the largest employer within the UK bathroom market.
The current HQ in Birstall is home to what was its 11th showroom in April 2017. Due to open its 100th store before Christmas, the brand has opened an average of 20 showrooms per year since 2017 – and 34 in the past year alone – whilst growing revenue by 33% to £60m. By 2023, Easy Bathrooms will have 175 showrooms.
Craig Waddington, who founded Easy Bathrooms in 2012, said: “We have grown extraordinarily quickly, particularly during the pandemic. Our current Birstall HQ has served us well, but in truth, we outgrew it a long time ago.
“At our current HQ, we operate with just two roller shutters – there are no dock leveller doors – and we have just 7,000 pallet spaces. It’s incredible, and a testament to our warehouse team, that we’ve managed. Our stock has been spread across four smaller warehouses, which has been a logistical challenge. Our new site is 18m high at the eaves, and we will have 32 dock leveller doors; meaning that our fleet of vehicles can drive straight up to the warehouse ready to be loaded quickly and efficiently. We will be able to hold 58,000 pallets and significantly increase our stock holding, and which is important with the current global shipping disruptions.”
Easy Bathrooms’ £5m investment represents £2m worth of racking, £750,000 of Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) trucks as well as a state-of-the-art sprinkler system, forklift trucks and other specialist equipment.
“It will massively improve our customer service levels and allow us to double our own fleet of delivery vehicles – which is absolutely key to our growth,” continued Craig.
Tungsten Properties, one of the UK’s leading mid-box industrial and warehouse developers, completed the purchase of the 15.2-acre Calder Park site in August 2020 from Peel L&P Business Parks for £9.75m. Tungsten achieved a planning consent from Wakefield Council in March 2021 which resulted in a change in planning consent from B1 offices to B8 distribution.
Cubico UK Ltd, trading as Easy Bathrooms, has taken the whole distribution facility which is a single warehouse which totals 291,000 sq. ft. with 39,000 sq. ft. for its office and a new showroom. All office staff at Birstall are able to be retained due to the proximity of the new site.
The letting has represented the single biggest deal for Tungsten Properties. Ian Dunckley, development director at Tungsten Properties, said: “To have secured Easy Bathrooms for their new distribution facility before starting on site is testament to the current high demand for new warehouse space in Yorkshire. We look forward to delivering an exceptionally sustainable and efficient building as we continue to deliver space in Yorkshire to create local jobs and to enable businesses to continue to grow.”
Construction started on 6 September 2021 with practical completion due in Q2 2022.
Craig continued: “At a time when others are asking staff to permanently work from home, and are closing bricks and mortar stores, we are proud to be expanding our footprint and securing jobs for people.”
The terms of the deal are £6.56 per sq. ft. on a 17-year lease.
Savills and Moriarty & Co acted on behalf of Tungsten Properties; Peel L&P Business Parks represented themselves. Basharat Ali from Schofield Sweeney acted for Easy Bathrooms.