Growth in Scottish Office Retailer leads to Warehouse Expansion Plans
A Scottish-headquartered office furniture retailer is to step up its expansion plans following a surge in demand from businesses and consumers.
2ndhnd.com, based in Dundonald in Ayrshire, specialises in refurbishing and reselling high end office furniture by high-end brands including Steelcase and Herman Miller.
The company has enjoyed a boom in custom over the past 18 months, with businesses reconfiguring their offices during the pandemic and buyers looking for environmentally sustainable purchases believed to be driving factors.
Turnover for 2ndhnd.com has risen from approximately £2.5million in 2019 to hit £4.5million this year – with the company aiming to double that to £10million in the next three years.
Co-owned and managed by Ross Dutton, 2ndhnd.com has three warehouses facilities (two in Scotland and one in London) but is seeking to expand its Scottish capacity into a single facility of more than 100,000sq ft in the near future.
Ross Dutton, managing director at 2ndhnd.com, said: “There has been significant discussion about working from home during the pandemic but the last six to 12 months has been the period where businesses we work with have put their plans for long-term hybrid working into practice.
“We’re being asked more and more often to strip offices of their existing office furniture, which will eventually be refurbished and resold via our platforms, but also to help in the reconfiguration of existing spaces as more flexible spaces are introduced such as breakout areas, sofas and catch-up pods.
“That has been great news for us as despite some hyperbole proclaiming the death of the office, businesses still see real value in these spaces – they just want our assistance to meet their own needs and the expectations of employees.
“We want to grow our own Scottish warehouse facilities to meet this demand – we were already on course to increase turnover year on year but the pace of growth has increased substantially due to recent events.”
Recent projects include a refit of the Sandbox Workspace in the shadow of The Shard in London as well as link ups with Barclays at their new office in Tradeston as well as Canary Wharf. 2ndhnd, which employs around 35 staff and has sold more than 35,000 items in the past year, said sustainability was a key selling point for customers.
Ross continued: “Furniture going to landfill when it could be reused is a source of carbon emissions, with a new office chair taking 72KgCO2 to manufacture to replace a previously used one.
“The workplace transformations that are currently being undertaken present the perfect opportunity to embrace the circular economy where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, the maximum value is extracted from them whilst in use and then products and materials are recovered and regenerated at the end of each product’s viable life cycle.
“We estimate that our sales over the past year have saved emissions equivalent to 2,400 flights between London and Sydney. Buying just one refurbished chair has the same effect as removing a 300-mile journey in a standard family car from our roads.
“We’re also able to shave significant cost off the RRP of high quality products thanks to refurbishment process – no doubt this is attractive to financial directors and accounts teams. We’ve always sold a lot of products to Europe, particularly Germany and Benelux where there has been a large market for refurb for decades, but the UK is fast catching up.”