West Yorkshire-based Duvalay – a BBC Dragons’ Den success story – has purchased a new £1.2m factory, as it looks to deliver on its ambitious growth plans.
The company has purchased a four-acre site on Station Lane in Heckmondwike in response to rising demand across its portfolio of bedding products.
“It’s been nine years since we entered the Dragons’ Den with our much-loved Duvalay sleeping bag, and we’ve already expanded twice since then,” explains sales & marketing director, Liz Colleran.
“In recent years we’ve formed exciting global partnerships with Arleigh International Group in Europe and Disc-O-Bed in the US, as well as with GO Outdoors here in the UK. We have also just signed distribution rights in both China and South Korea as we look to expand into the Asian market. To facilitate this growth, increase overall productivity and reduce delivery lead times, we’ve made the exciting decision to vacate all our current sites and consolidate our entire operation in a single, bigger factory.”
The announcement comes after another year of growth for Duvalay, which won the Manufacturing Innovation category at the 2019 Made in Yorkshire Awards.
The move, which was due to happen earlier this year but was delayed due to lockdown, is the next chapter for the family-run business. It follows significant demand for its products as consumers took advantage of holidaying in the UK, as well as investing in contactless delivery of its new mattress collection.
“The extra space in the new factory has allowed us to move onto a double-shift pattern for most of our workers to help meet demand. It has also helped us to ensure we have a Covid-19-safe workplace with room for social distancing. Over the course of the next several months, we hope to be able to recruit from our local region,” continues Liz.
The team has also seen unprecedented demand for its environmentally conscious Wooltech Collection.
“As proven innovators, it’s time for us to fully lean into all the exciting opportunities that are out there," says Liz. "So, after leasing for more than 15 years, we have taken the strategic decision to spend more than £1m on new, permanent premises. The future is bright for Duvalay and for all those partners who choose to work with us.”
Duvalay undertook an environmental impact assessment during the first phase of construction at their new factory. As a result, all waste from the previous factory building has been painstakingly separated into individual waste streams to facilitate the recycling process.
“Each contract mattress we produce contains an innovative material made from recycled plastic bottles,” explains Liz. “We are, therefore, on target to divert more than 180,000 plastic bottles from landfill each year.
“Our new factory will be a place where we continue to make responsible choices on behalf of our customers and retail partners.”
Duvalay’s new premises will serve as the company’s headquarters, housing all sales and customer service staff, as well as the family director team. A showroom will also be accessible on-site.
Pictured: Alan and Liz Colleran