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Pureplay building materials disruptor plans stockmarket flotation

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Online-only building materials retailer CMO is planning a stockmarket flotation.

The group, which operates seven specialist websites –,,,,,, and– says it is the largest online-only retailer in its category. 

It now aims to use its digital-first model to disrupt a £27bn market that it says has to date traded mostly offline. Some 10% of sales in the category take place online, says CMO, contrasting that with the 34% of sales that take place online across UK retailing. 

CMO, founded 12 years ago, now offers a range of more than 75,000 products through its websites, and says its specialist advice and expertise in niche categories enables it to serve the next generation of digital natives and provide a bridge between traditional shop-based retailers in the category and pureplay retailing. 

It delivers to customers through a drop ship model that is supported by more than 350 suppliers and that, says CMO means it can move quickly to expand its range in response to market demand. It also says that it offers price transparency compared to the wider industry, which often offers discounts to individual traders. 

Looking ahead, the group now aims to grow its share of the market as customers move online, while also expanding through acquisitions. 

The group gave little insight into its figures but says in today’s announcement that like-for-like sales grew by more than 30% in the five months to the end of May 2021, and by more than 70% when new acquisitions were taken into account. 

Dean Murray, chief executive of CMO Group plc, says:  “We are delighted to announce our intention to list on AIM signifying an exciting new chapter in the group’s long-term development.

“We have enjoyed strong, consistent growth driven by the group’s successful customer proposition, first mover advantage and scalable digital platform. Our clear and focussed strategy will enable us to continue to capture further profitable share in an under penetrated market as customers increasingly move online. We will support this through targeted category expansion and a multi-channel marketing plan to drive revenue growth and margin enhancement.”

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