Workwear Express marches to £50m sales with first acquisition

Workwear Express | PCIAW

Durham-headquartered Workwear Express is reporting a 30 per cent increase in turnover this year as the business eyes annual sales of £50 million by 2023.

The firm, which supplies bespoke workwear, promotional clothing and PPE to all sectors including healthcare, industrial and hospitality, increased turnover to £23 million in its latest accounts (ending March 2020).

Its growth follows a spate of investment projects in 2019 including £4 million for an additional 40,000 square foot bespoke manufacturing site next to its existing premises and the launch of its first retail outlet. The tech-driven clothing specialist has also invested £1.3 million in new machinery in the past 12 months.

This year, Workwear Express is making a series of new investments to support its three year growth strategy, which is targeting £50 million turnover by 2023.

It has invested £3 million in a new tech platform and website, launching one of the UK’s first progressive web-apps in the sector, to improve the customer journey and the buying process. This has simplified how customers search for bespoke print and embroidered workwear products across its 9,500 customisable range, the largest in the UK.

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The business is also recruiting for 30 new roles including sales staff and machinists, taking headcount to more than 200 to provide additional capacity to fulfill growing customer demand. Workwear Express has secured over 100,000 new customers since the start of 2020 and has more than 500,000 customers of all sizes in multiple sectors across its e-commerce, corporate and international divisions.

It has also made its first acquisition – a multi-million-pound deal to acquire competitor brand Krowmark. The deal, which has been financed internally, will see Workwear Express acquire Krowmark after the business ceased operations earlier this year.

Andrew Ward, Chairman of Workwear Express, said: “We set out on an ambitious growth strategy in 2018 with an aim to increase turnover by more than 20 per cent year-on-year to 2023. We’re on track to deliver against this strategy, which is seeing us invest heavily to meet customer demand.

“Market appetite for our product range has remained high even throughout the lockdown period, owing to our diverse customer base. We’re now actively recruiting across the business, and our 50 new roles this year follows a similar recruitment drive last year, providing job security to our people in the tough economic climate.

“In addition to these investments, we are also eyeing international expansion – with plans to launch in North America in the coming years. As a technology-led business in our sector we see a wealth of opportunity for us to disrupt markets internationally and build on our existing growth trajectory”.

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