Hillington’s Direct Flooring paving way for growth with new sites

From left: Derek Weir of Bank of Scotland pictured with John Semple. Picture: Chris Watt Photography.
From left: Derek Weir of Bank of Scotland pictured with John Semple. Picture: Chris Watt Photography.
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A flooring business has bought new premises in Perth and Glasgow – in a move that is growing its workforce by a tenth and expected to boost its turnover by 15 per cent in the next three years.

Hillington’s Direct Flooring – which currently operates 12 trading units across Scotland and an online store – said the new sites boost its retail space by 20,000 square feet.

The firm has worked with Bank of Scotland for almost 18 years. Picture: Chris Watt Photography.

The firm has worked with Bank of Scotland for almost 18 years. Picture: Chris Watt Photography.

It will move from its highest-performing rented retail unit on Glasgow’s London Road to larger premises opposite, while the new Perth unit, Direct Flooring’s first in Perthshire, is currently under construction and will open to customers in the spring.

A portion of both new properties will be leased to other retailers, providing an additional revenue stream for the business.

Direct Flooring was founded 20 years ago by brothers John and Scott Semple, and it specialises in laminate and solid hardwood flooring.

Following the move, the family-run firm expects its turnover to grow by £4 million over the next three years.

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The business has partly attributed growing demand for its products to consumers increasingly using social media website Pinterest – saying that some nearly three quarters of its members use the online platform to design and create their own interior design looks before buying products in shops.

High-street presence

Direct Flooring director John Semple said: “Customers are coming to us with images of their dream home that they’ve created on websites like Pinterest. Having a physical presence on Scottish high streets, where customers can visit us and turn their online designs into a reality, is extremely important.

“The site in Glasgow will upgrade and secure the location of our highest-performing retail unit and the Perth store will let us expand into a brand new area of Scotland.”

The expansion is backed by Bank of Scotland – which has worked with the firm for almost 18 years.

Derek Weir, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland, said: “Ecommerce is now a crucial consideration for the majority of retailers, but it’s encouraging to see Direct Flooring continue to place equal importance on the experience it gives customer in store.

Rewarding

“I’ve been the business’ relationship manager for more than 12 years, so it was very rewarding to tailor a funding package that matched their unique objectives for the business. This holistic, relationship-led approach to supporting firms is key to delivering our commitment to help Scotland prosper.

“This year we’ve committed to lend up to £1.6 billion to help businesses from every sector in Scotland to achieve their ambitions, whether that’s to scale up, invest in the latest technology or, like in Direct Flooring’s case, expand into new markets.”

Other firms the lender has worked with recently include Renfrewshire’s Forde Opticians, which was acquired by one of its employees with the backing of a £225,000 funding package.

The firm was acquired by Gemma Hill, becoming the sole owner of the independent practice. Hamish Primrose, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland, at the time said the healthcare industry is a key area for the lender.