AWARD-winning car supermarket CarShop achieved record profits of £5 million before tax in 2015 – representing an impressive 113 per cent year-on-year increase.
And the company has seen strong growth continue into 2016, with sales for the first quarter of the year up by 25 per cent. Retail sales are forecast to reach around 24,000 in 2016, which compares very favourably against the company’s 2015 figure of 20,418.
In his strategic review of the business, which has outlets in Cardiff, Doncaster, Northampton, Norwich and Swindon, chief executive Jonathan Dunkley said the success enjoyed by CarShop was largely due to developing four key areas: investment in data and insight; the firm’s vehicle acquisition strategy; the improved application of digital technologies; and embedding its core values into its operations.
Speaking exclusively to Car Dealer, Dunkley described the 2015 figures as ‘a great result’ and said the company had been on an ‘interesting and exciting journey of evolution’ in the three years he has been CEO.
He told us: ‘Data and digital is at the heart of what we do now. It’s well embedded into our culture. Our goal has been to ensure that we are the best car shop in town, and this culture is firmly embedded in to all of our behaviours and competencies. The way that we now listen to and look after our customers has allowed us to develop and improve our customer journeys and processes.
‘Our colleagues have really bought into the best car shop in town vision, and it’s our 552 hard-working and dedicated team members that have brought this strategy to life. We’re very proud of our people and the transition that’s taken place.’
CarShop was established in 1999 and Dunkley told us: ‘There was definitely a need, around four years ago, to review our strategy, not only in terms of digital and customer experience but also in terms of supply.
‘Our unique business model means that around half of our stock comes from leasing company partners on a sale-or-return basis. The way in which these partnerships were working needed to be updated and we needed to be much more mindful of the mix and volume of stock that we were taking. We now have a more diversified and stable supply chain in place that allows the business to operate in a much more profitable manner. Today, there is a real clear data-driven focus on our detailed ideal stock requirements for each store, which is different in each location.
‘Our pricing algorithms are much more advanced now and regionally based. We now have strong foundations on which we can continue to build and continue to grow. Our sales have already started very strongly this year, and it’s very exciting to see us continue to improve at such an impressive rate.
‘Our outlook for the business remains very positive, and we will be focused on continuing to grow unit sales to capacity in our five existing locations. We are also well progressed in considering a number of real estate options in order to open new store locations, and intend on opening our next location in 2017.’
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