Loaf Laid Back Growth Impressive Online and Offline Balance

Loaf Laid Back Growth Impressive Online and Offline Balance

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Loaf was founded in 2008 as the Sleep Room by Charlie Marshall. He had to sell a previous business known as the Primal Soup Company to raise capital, using some of the personal funds he had from real estate investments to bring his ea to fruition. From an initial investment of £350,000 to about £20 million today and an expected growth of over £100 million in the next few years, Loaf is expected to continue its incredible run.

In the beginning, Marshall invested £350,000 and primarily focused on selling beds where he provided a dozen bed styles. Before he decided on the single mattress he intended to use for the Sleep Room, as the company was initially known, Charlie Marshall visited more than 187 bed and mattress makers.


The Sleep Room was rebranded in 2012 into its current name, Loaf. R branding was primarily due to an expansion of the product range offered by the company beyond sleep and bed-related items. T included the introduction of armchairs and sofas and an announcement that Loaf would now sell textiles, lighting and rugs. B  2013, Loaf announced its entry into the kitchen furniture world.

Rapidly growing company in the UK

Around 2013, the company’s growth hadn’t gone unnoticed by the media, and it was listed in the 2013 Sunday Times Fast Track 100, where Loaf took the 40th position and the third fastest among growing retailers across the UK. In 2014, the company’s growth didn’t stall but went up, and Loaf made it to the list at position 52 in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 even as its turnover went up to £15.9 million from about £7.8 million within one year. In the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 of 2015, Loaf was named the 34th among the rapidly growing companies in the UK.

In 2014 Loaf also got a boost as Monsoon & Accessorize announced their acquisition of a significant stake in the furniture company. As a result, Charlie Marshall, the founder, believed that the company’s investment would go beyond £100 million in a few years according to his projections, which was reinforced by Loaf’s 2014 turnover of £20 million from £15.9 million in the previous year. Marshall had started the company after noticing a niche where affordable yet beautiful beds were in demand. C customers wanted a hassle-free purchase, thus creating the then online homeware business.

Loaf had about 40 members of staff within its West London headquarters in Ladbroke Grove by 2014, which has since grown as the company continues registering steady growth. In just three years up to 2014, Loaf had increased by over 80%.

Loaf Shacks

As early as 2012, Loaf had the idea of setting up unique retail outlets known as Loaf Shacks to boost its online offering. As the homeware business’s online presence grew, the idea for the shacks grew even further.

Perhaps the stake grasped by Monsoon and Accessorize’s Peter Simon as he sought to branch out into the world of furniture affected the first-ever offline presence of Loaf. Marshall believed through Simon’s experience, choice and guidance; Loaf would eventually accomplish its goals of filling the UK market gap that existed for unique laid-back homeware and perhaps become a household company in the short run. With the popularity of home styling in the Loaf style, it was just a matter of time before the Shacks were a reality.

First physical store

The first ever Loaf Shack or physical store opened in September 2015. T e 8,000 square feet retail store is found along Battersea in London’s Queenstown Road. At that time, Loaf had started offering furniture covering the whole home beyond the 12-bed styles and a single mattress style the company had started in 2008. Consequently, Loaf posted £27 million in sales in 2014-2015. Considered Britain’s most laid-back store, the first Loaf Shack was even termed as the ‘showroom’ and hardly the ‘showroom’.

The new physical showroom was large because, according to Loaf, customers wanted to touch and see the furniture they wanted to buy before completing the sale. The store has chill-out sections, corners for children and an ice cream traditional-style parlour.

Aside from sofas and beds made in Derbyshire, the first Loaf Shack also had a diverse collection of accessories and gifts, from cashmere blankets and tableware to bath scents and organic candles.    Loaf plans to open at least 10 physical showrooms in the next few years.

Loaf Shack by Notting Hill

After the success of the first Loaf Shack, the company is expected to launch another physical showroom by July 15th in the Notting Hill area. While the first was 8500 square feet, the second one will be a tad smaller at 5500 square feet. I’ll replace the brand’s original home from Exmoor Street and will have eight rooms, including a loft space in the New York style filled with light. Charlie Marshall grew up around the Notting Hill area, and the new store will give people an even better place to chill.

Like the store in Battersea, the new one will invite customers to explore and relax, considering there’s an inclusion of table football, arcade old school games, a cinema playing re-runs from various classics and a testing area for mattresses.

A laid-back future of growth

The 40 employees by 2014 are expected to grow to over 60 Loafers, as they love referring to themselves. As indicated, physical stores aren’t being created to replace the company’s online offering but work hand in hand to give customers a feel and view that’s a little hard to conjure online.

According to Marshall, Loaf is not all about low prices only but also increasingly about brand allegiance and service quality. The company runs fast towards its £100 million turnover, mark the clicks and bricks experience it offers is all about reaffirming the brand and offering its ever-growing number of customers the most fantastic laid-back experience.