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CASE STUDY How UK-based business iLikeStores worked with ManoMano to meet demand throughout the pandemic

Sheds: part of the lockdown boom

Since launching on ManoMano in November 2019, UK based family business iLikeStores has enjoyed a 15% increase in sales, alongside achieving £800,000 in sales within its first year of the collaboration.

Alongside ManoMano’s dedicated expert guidance and access to a large DIY, Home & Garden customer base across Europe, iLikeStores has started to establish itself as one of the leading  ‘Garden Buildings’ online retailers in the UK.  

In 2008, brothers Russell and Edward Smith founded the iLikeStores business in Bedford with one main aim; to provide quality garden and bedroom equipment at affordable prices to the nation. Thirteen years later, iLikeStores now has a team of 80 employees, offering express UK delivery. As ManoMano specialises in the DIY, Home & Garden sector, it was a natural choice to collaborate as it offered a brilliant opportunity to reach a captive customer base.

Dealing with demand 

The past year has seen unprecedented demand for home and DIY products, with sheds being one of the most popular lockdown garden items. The pandemic saw the introduction and rising popularity of the ‘Shoffice’ – a shed office – which saw eager DIYers transform their garden sheds into office spaces and more – bars, gyms, chill out zones – as a way to manage spending more time at home. ManoMano saw sales of garden sheds increase by 472% in last year, with iLikeStores as one of its biggest stockists.

Managing the growing demand is one of the many areas that ManoMano can support its sellers. The marketplace gives each seller a dedicated Account Manager who works closely with the business to help optimise performance – by providing tailored business guidance and market or data driven insight – and forecasting.

This has never been as important as it was last year, and the ManoMano team worked closely with iLikeStores to ensure the business was able to cope with the demand, ensuring stock was always available despite the nationwide shortage of sheds that was experienced earlier this year. 

Additionally, ManoMano helps to manage customer services, particularly when it comes to delivery. iLikeStores offers express UK delivery and works closely with ManoMano to ensure it maintains a fast and reliable service.

Plans to grow 

Since the beginning of the partnership, the growth shows no sign of slowing down. The family business has even recruited two dedicated employees to work directly with ManoMano to manage customer demand. 

The rise in popularity for outdoor buildings is just one of many reasons why the iLikeStores business continues to grow. The founding brothers intend to use this opportunity to expand their manufacturing services which will include taking on a new factory later this year. The expansion gives them the chance to expand the product range and in turn, broaden the customer base.  

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