is taking its first step into international markets as it starts to sell in France. The company plans to move from this first step to sell further afield within Europe and then North America.
The 10-year-old etailer has launched a dedicated site for the French market
, where shoppers can buy the full range of its bathroom fittings, from full bathroom suites to individual baths and shower enclosures to accessories. Orders will be initially fulfilled within two days from the UK but there will be a dedicated team looking after .fr orders and customer service. An integrated marketing strategy will include PPC, social media, public relations and SEO.
Bathrooms.com sees a gap in the affordable interior design market in France, where similar quality products, it says, cost up to 100% more than in the UK.
Chief executive Ian Monk says the French market has many similarities to that in the UK. “We have spent a long time researching overseas markets and developing this extension of the business," he said.
"We know that the French market is around the same size as the UK and as such see the potential for us to match our UK run rate of £10m in 12 months. With our experience and expertise we believe we can make the same impact that has taken us eight years in the UK in just 18 months in France.”
The move is expected to create another 10 manufacturing jobs in the UK as its suppliers take on more staff.
Monk said: “We have been growing at circa 50% and 60% year on year, so our aims are to break in to the French market then expand to other countries in Europe. As a firm we will then be looking at a projected 300% year on year growth. We have taken the values that UK consumers demand which are good design and good quality at prices everyone can afford and provide them overseas.”