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BrightHouse website to go transactional

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BrightHouse says it will make its website transactional within 18 months. The electricals and furniture retailer offers in-store credit to help customers spread payment for goods. It’s not yet clear whether its online model will accommodate credit to match the store offer.

Products can also be paid for upfront with cash in stores, and customers have increasingly been spending on the latest mobiles and BlackBerries, so the company is keen to tap into this growing demand for high tech gadgets.

BrightHouse chief executive Leo McKee said work was beginning on the site: “We’re looking at our clicks-and-mortar strategy closely. Our customers are in cyberspace so we need to be in cyberspace too.”

This week BrightHouse posted a 16.4% rise in underlying EBITDA to £39.7m in the year to March 31. Revenue increased 15.4% to £227.7m, while like-for-like sales were up 9.2%. Operating profit rose to £33.6m from £24.8m at the 228-store retailer.

BrightHouse appeals to demographic groups that struggle to qualify for credit cards. A simple system for credit is set up in-store, requiring the customer to provide proof of income, photo ID, two personal references, a home contents policy, and tenancy agreement or mortgage statement.

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