Rise of online pureplays pivotal to Bathstore’s collapse

Following today’s news (Wednesday 26 June) that Bathstore has fallen into administration, Matt Walton, Senior Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the chain’s current challenges:

“Bathstore has collapsed into administration as economic conditions have discouraged shoppers from making big ticket purchases; while it also struggled to compete against major DIY retailers and surging online pureplays.

“Bathstore’s share of the UK bathroom furniture market has deteriorated consistently since 2016, as it has closed stores – a net of 22 in the last three years – and weaker consumer confidence has focussed shoppers on price, as well as convenience, allowing online pureplay specialists to thrive at its expense. The combined share of pureplays Soak.com, Victoria Plum, Victorian Plumbing and Plumbworld is forecast to account for nearly a quarter of the UK bathroom furniture market in 2019.

“Against the pureplays’ rising tide and Bathstore’s large store portfolio of 153 outlets, it is unlikely that it will survive in its current form without a significant number of store closures. It could even follow the same path as Better Bathrooms, which collapsed in March 2019 and now trades as an online pureplay.”

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