Online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum invests in new forklift fleet to deliver growth strategy

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Online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum – winner of the Retail Supply Chain Excellence Award category at the Supply Chain Excellence Awards in 2021 – has invested in a new fleet of more than 50 electric-powered Toyota lift-trucks to help deliver its ongoing growth strategy.

Including the latest reach and counterbalance models, as well as powered pallet trucks and order pickers, the trucks have been deployed at the company’s 277,000ft2 distribution centre.

During extensive trials, Doncaster-headquartered Victoria Plum looked for equipment that would cut running costs, improve fleet utilisation and, most importantly, achieve high levels of safety and lift truck operator comfort.

The company’s supply chain and logistics capabilities see the online retailer secure and ship more than 13,000 products from factories to its customers’ homes.

“Our order volumes have continued to increase as we implement our growth strategy,” commented Andy Svenson, Operations Director, Victoria Plum. “It is therefore essential for us to invest in the latest equipment to further facilitate our expansion while ensuring high levels of safety and operational efficiency.”

The company announced that its sales rose by a record 46% to £103 million and its EBITDA increased by 115% to £4.5 million for the year ended 28 February 2021. The business has experienced further strong sales growth during its latest financial year.

The new forklift fleet will be supplied on a contract rental agreement over five years that includes service and maintenance support. The total value of the investment over the period is undisclosed.

As part of the agreement, Toyota will supply a battery changing station along with spare batteries and a battery management system to ensure that the fleet consistently delivers the most energy efficient and productive performance levels.

Established in 2001, Victoria Plum was acquired by Leeds-headquartered private equity fund Endless in October 2019. Since then, the company has continued its successful turnaround and transformation strategy led by chief executive, Paul McClenaghan, and his senior management team which includes Andy Svenson.

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