Highgrove Bathrooms’ $140 million turnover bolsters business expansion

James Sinclair, Managing Director at Highgrove Bathrooms

The retail sector has faced its share of challenges – especially recently. For leading national bathroom retailer Highgrove Bathrooms, however, the 2021/2022 financial year has been its best year yet in its 18 years of trading. Founded in 2005 by Lindsay Sinclair, the now two-generation family-run business quickly made its mark in the bathroom accessories retail landscape, growing from strength to strength year on year (YoY) with 20 – 40% growth.

What is the growth rate of Highgrove Bathrooms?

They had outgrown their headquarters and main warehouse six times before purchasing a 2.5 ha site in Molendinar on the Gold Coast in 2015. Fast-forward to 2022: despite the challenges the past two years have brought, Highgrove Bathrooms have successfully opened its 50th store located in Rockhampton, and now employs over 250 staff nationwide.

Highgrove Bathrooms is also currently expanding its headquarters with 2500m² of purpose-built office space at their commercial site on the Gold Coast. In the 2021/2022 financial year they have reported sales of 20,000 baths, 44,000 toilets, 53,000 vanities, and 46,000 basins to date – plus container loads of mixers, tap-ware, and bathroom accessories.

Most telling in this unprecedented growth of Highgrove Bathrooms is that rather than buckle down to weather the storms of a GFC, fluctuations in building approvals, interest rates, and economic climate Managing Director, James Sinclair (who took the reins in 2012) steered them to invest into product development based mainly on consumer demand and feedback.

It is easy to see why they have seen such strong expansion. Traditionally starting out to cater to the development market, Highgrove Bathrooms has always delivered high-quality bathroom accessory options direct to the consumer, DIYers, and the renovator market.

They have also been growing a direct-to-trade side of the business. Now with 50 stores nationally and thriving online sales, the direction James has been taking over the past decade has certainly paid off. In looking back over almost two decades of the Highgrove Bathroom brand, they have consistently recorded YoY growth, have carved out a niche and have stood firm while keeping prices low – with a desire to also give back to their communities.

Highgrove Bathrooms has found a recipe that spells success: not only for the company but for their loyal following of DIYers, renovators, tradies, and new home builders.

What was the executive’s take on the growth trajectory?

“We needed to be flexible as we are constantly re-engineering ourselves to keep up with an ever-evolving market. Our main focuses has been on the introduction of interchangeable components, allowing every client to tailor a bathroom that is unique to them,” James says.

“Eight years ago, it was enough to offer a matt black range, 4 years ago, a range of products in pastels. Today the market is more discerning and fastidious,” James stated.

“We have design and development teams to keep us relevant.” Highgrove Bathrooms has developed its interchangeable range of tap-ware, sinks, vanities, and bath and shower accessories to allow customers to design their own unique style – be it stainless steel, matt black, brushed nickel or brass. They have also broadened their selection of vanities, basins, and finishes with their latest ranges CRETE, EVOKE, and TERRAZZO leading their growth.

“I have always equated our success to listening to the market and what the customers want and finding the right people to partner with. Our business model is somewhat unique with the vast majority of our stores operating under a partnership arrangement operated by individuals passionate about the industry and their local communities,” James explained.

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