How Wakefield's Conservatory Outlet Group has enjoyed such rapid growth

The Conservatory Outlet Group has grown its 2021 turnover year-on-year by 26 per cent as its rapid growth trajectory continues.

The group has enjoyed rapid growth

The Wakefield-based firm sells conservatories, extensions, doors, windows and orangeries through a network of 27 retail businesses across the UK. It employs 250 people and reached record sales in 2020 of £44m.

Conservatory Outlet featured in the Ward Hadaway’s Yorkshire Fastest 50 list for the third time this year.

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Greg Kane, the group’s CEO, said: “When it comes to growth and, importantly, sustained growth, it’s about good old-fashioned business sense.

“In my book that’s adding value, continuing to innovate so that the service or product you provide is the best it can be, and repeated investment into the business.

“True value comes from offering something different and ensuring that continues to happen. With true value comes true growth.”

Conservatory Outlet was aided in 2017 when it purchased two of its biggest customers, Pennine Home Improvements and Clearview Home Improvements. It has its own manufacturing and logistics infrastructure and offers a full customer journey from the direct-to-consumer side of the business.

Reinvestment into the business has enabled them to make several strategic senior leadership appointments, including a new Head of Quality and Continuous Improvement, and Mr Kane says this is critical to creating a strong and sustainable business.

Mr Kane said: “When it comes to growing a business there’s one factor that’s not just underrated but not talked about enough and that’s reinvestment.

“We always invest our profits back into the business. During the pandemic we’ve completed a 10,000 sq ft factory expansion as part of a staged £500,000 manufacturing investment which includes a new state-of-the-art distribution centre.

“We’ve also spent a six-figure sum on a new ACT Schirmer cutting and routing machine which has dramatically improved the precision levels and edge quality of our window profiles, along with a host of other new technology upgrades.

“Growth also depends on a leadership model which is influenced not just by customer feedback but by what the workforce says too.

“Listening to your team is one of the best pieces of advice I can give. Those on the frontline, doing the job day-in, day-out, can give you more insight into your business than anyone else. Growth is only ever achieved as a team.”

Following the first national lockdown, the group launched a sales competition among its retail network, accelerated the launch of its innovative new design app and continued to press full steam ahead with its marketing campaign. As a result, each of its network customers has been able to raise the profile of its retail brand and generate an increased number of sales.

Mr Kane added: “If you want to achieve growth, it won’t just happen naturally, you have to find a way to make it happen. Everything we do is about supporting our large retail business network with what they need to innovate, develop and ultimately market themselves effectively. If they grow, we grow. It’s as simple as that.”

Adrian Ballam, Corporate Partner at Ward Hadaway, said: “Not only is Conservatory Outlet an example of the fantastic manufacturing prowess we have right here in Yorkshire, but the company also sticks firmly to a business model where partnership, collaboration and innovation sit at the core.

“As a result, and with their dedicated workforce and desire to endlessly improve, Conservatory Outlet continues to achieve its ambitions.”