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HP DesignJets help Sussex Beds fuel growth

HP DesignJets help Sussex Beds fuel growth

Sussex Beds is planning a massive expansion over the next decade following its most successful year yet – thanks in part to printing its own display material in-house with HP DesignJet.

Founded in 1981, Sussex Beds is an independent family-run business now managed by Steve Pickering – son of original founders John and Sandra Pickering – alongside his siblings and cousin. A specialist retailer in beds, mattresses and bedroom furniture, Sussex Beds sells its own-brand products in nine stores across its home county and neighbouring Kent and via an e-commerce platform.

However, as part of its ambitious ten-year strategy, it intends to expand to 40 physical stores by 2030, following its most successful year in terms of revenue and net profit in 2019. Steve Pickering explains that this growth is partly down to the fact that the company is now producing all of its display printing in-house on HP DesignJet technology.

He said: “The retail sector has struggled over recent years due to changing buying habits and we were not immune to a decline in footfall. We decided to take drastic action and invested in our own printing equipment to enable us to create a brand for our premium products while also producing all the other in-store display material we need. We had always used HP desktop printers and knew the brand was reliable, so we invested in an HP DesignJet Z6610.”

The HP DesignJet Z6610 production printer is designed to deliver speed, durability and reliability. It runs HP Vivid Photo Inks to produce water- and fade-resistant prints with vibrant colours, while the system seamlessly integrates with existing workflows for easy operation.

Initially, Sussex Beds used its DesignJet Z6610 just to print posters, but quickly saw its potential and now produces all of its own POS, wall coverings, ticketing and detailed labels for mattresses that help customers make an informed purchasing decision. In 2019, a second DesignJet Z6610 joined the first machine in a dedicated print room at Sussex Beds’ new headquarters in St Leonards.

“We love the turnaround speed and the flexibility offered by the DesignJet printers – and the associated reduction in costs,” confided Steve. “For example, printing window posters for all of our stores in-house costs one-tenth of the price of outsourcing that work.

“We can also make changes at minimal cost. Every shop is different, so we can test and measure the performance of a display project before rolling it out across several stores, at a much lower price point than outsourcing.”

As well as breaking its business records in 2019, Sussex Beds has seen significant growth since installing the first HP system four years ago, including seeing its average order value increase by 60 percent, conversions by eight percent and gross profit by five percent. The best sales performance has been across its higher-end ranges, but its has also enjoyed growth across the whole company.

Steve concluded: “I can’t overestimate how influential the HP printers have been on those metrics. The investment has been so crucial to our business – there has been a huge transformation.”

March 2020 will see Sussex Beds open its tenth physical store, in Royal Tunbridge Wells, with more to follow.

For further information on Sussex Beds, visit: www.sussexbedcentre.co.uk

For further information on HP DesignJet printers, visit: www.hp.com

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