Belle Maison, a furniture manufacturer/merchant, is on the move
after outgrowing its warehouse in St Helens, Merseyside. The
company, which started as a wholesale operation, launched a
direct-to-consumer offering in 2006. Consumer catalogue and web
sales have since grown to £2.5 million.
Last year Belle Maison received a £100,000 loan from the
Merseyside Special Investment Fund and raised an additional
£550,000 to develop its direct business. Founder Mark Essex
told Catalogue/e-business that with the funding he bought
“new state-of-the-art machinery” that allowed Belle
Maison to manufacture in the UK more quickly and efficiently.
This year’s move will see the goods finished in a bigger facility
closer to London, which will help speed despatch time. “The
St Helens production facility and operations centre will remain,
and we will produce some of the goods from there and move them to
the new warehouse once finished,” Essex said.
With the direct business expected to show a profit this year,
Essex is shifting his focus to the production of furniture in the
Far East. This may result in the sale of the direct arm and
eCommerce business, he said, adding that he is already
considering two offers.
Published: 16th May 2008