I cannot fit the entire journey into a paragraph or two, but I remember the first order and our last day saying goodbye to some of the best employees I’ve ever put together – lots of emotions.
A family business with values and the courage to let me build a technology platform to enable the transformation from small independent store to a European powerhouse shipping 17,000 items a day – receiving 45 industry awards along the way.
Today it’s referred to as “bliztscaling” we killed the competition by implementing ideas today and launching tomorrow – ie we strapped a jetpack to our backs and pressed go everyday – failure is not an option when it’s family money.
We later discovered during the acquisition process that our corporate competitors were paralyzed by our speed of change and focussed entirely on our business not their own..!
We received 17+ offers for the business and sold to Morrisons Plc in 2011 for £70m – achieving 23.5x EBITDA multiples.
As part of the sale agreement Elle and I were retained for two years and I transitioned into the CEO & Chief Architect of Morrisons.com.
Understand when to sell: Mothercare, Mamas & Papas, Etoys, Toys r Us have all disappeared from our high streets in the last 10 years or entered into administration.