Made says the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way that its customers buy, with business shifting online as quickly this year as might have been expected over the next four or five years.
The furniture retailer saw shoppers start to buy online quickly over the last year, searching for equipment to furnish home offices. It responded by launching virtual see-now-buy-now experience, as it showcased its autumn winter 2020 collections in an Amsterdam curated apartment.
Black Friday was the busiest day in its history, with UK sales doubling year-on-year.
Made.com chief executive Philippe Chainieux says: “We have seen a rapid acceleration in the shift to online this year, an evolution which was predicted to take four or five years taking place in a matter of months.
“Covid has forced more people to work from home throughout this year, we have seen a huge increase in demand for home offices, eg. desk sales up 200%. Whilst there will undoubtedly be a return to the office in due course, we believe the ability and requirement to work from home on a part week basis will remain.”
His comments came as Made prepared to file accounts for 2019, with group revenue 22% up to £212m. The company has marked turning over £1bn since launch by giving its staff a stake in the business. Its 650 employees, apart from senior management, will all receive the same number of share options over the next three years.
“Reaching £1 billion sales since launch is an important milestone for the company. We are now firmly targeting the billion annual sales mark as we continue to build a leading global design brand,” says Chainieux. He added: “I have been delighted by the way in which everyone at Made has pulled together as a team during this unprecedented time.
“There have been many challenges for the retail sector this year, but I am proud to say that thanks to the structure of our business and the tireless efforts of our people, we have emerged from the crisis in a very strong position.
“The share options are a way of saying ‘thank you’ to colleagues for their past efforts but also a way to give them a stake in the exciting future we see for our brand.”
Made.com is a Top500 retailer in RXUK Top500 research. It sells online and via seven showrooms, with flagship branches in London and Paris.