hands share options to staff

Furniture retailer is giving employees share options in the business after cumulative sales broke £1 billion during the rush for home improvements during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The online retailer said all 650 members of staff would be given a stake in the business as the company’s accounts indicated it was on course for the 11th year of unbroken sales growth.

The company said that all employees, apart from senior management, will receive the same number of share options vesting in equal tranches over the next three years.

The company, which reported its busiest Black Friday in its history, said the decision had been taken to grant the share options in recognition of the commitment and sacrifices made the by workforce during the pandemic.

The announcement came as the business prepared to file accounts for 2019, showing group revenue increased 22 per cent to £212m, the 10th consecutive year of growth.

During 2019, the business made landmark investments in its operational capacity, launching three new warehouses, two in Europe and one in the UK, to position MADE for the next phase of growth.

It also doubled technology resources , investing in its website and logistics capabilities to enhance customer experience.

MADE has continued to see strong trading in 2020, despite being forced to shut its showrooms across Europe at various times, due to Covid-19, the company said.

Cumulative sales, since the business launched, passed £1bn last month and the company now has more than one million active customers who shopped in the last year and more than a million followers on Instagram.

In an innovative response to the pandemic, the company recently launched its virtual, see-now-buy-now experience, showcasing its new AW20 collections in a curated apartment in Amsterdam.

Philippe Chainieux, chief executive of MADE, said: “I have been delighted by the way in which everyone at MADE has pulled together as a team during this unprecedented time.

“There have been many challenges for the retail sector this year, but I am proud to say that thanks to the structure of our business and the tireless efforts of our people, we have emerged from the crisis in a very strong position.

“The share options are a way of saying ‘thank you’ to colleagues for their past efforts but also a way to give them a stake in the exciting future we see for our brand.”

Chainieux said recent trading has been shaped by the pandemic, fundamentally changing the way people shop and think about their home.

“We have seen a rapid acceleration in the shift to online this year, an evolution which was predicted to take four or five years taking place in a matter of months.

“Covid has forced more people to work from home throughout this year, we have seen a huge increase in demand for home offices, eg. desk sales up 200%. Whilst there will undoubtedly be a return to the office in due course, we believe the ability and requirement to work from home on a part week basis will remain.

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