Sofa.com is a British online retail success story that has enjoyed rapid growth since its establishment in 2006 when the founders paid $215,000 for the domain name. The furniture and furnishings company now has annual sales of around £25 million, with the UK as the main market for its competitively priced range of customised high-quality sofas, armchairs and beds.
STORY OF A SOFA
A £3 million, 11,252 m2 Built-to-Suit production and warehouse facility at P3 Poznań in western Poland was developed for Zaparoh, the manufacturer of high-quality furniture, for online sale in Europe by its parent company Sofa.com. The company was particularly looking at Poland for its skilled local workforce, competitive cost base and fast transport connections to the UK - 160 people work for Zaparoh at P3 Poznań.
Talks with P3’s development team revealed that the planned size of the Zaparoh project could be scaled back to save 30% of the construction and operational costs. Work started in March 2014 and the building was handed over to Zaparoh just six months later. Sofa.com started shipping products to its UK distribution warehouses and an Amsterdam showroom shortly after.
“We aim to supply customers with better furniture at prices better than what they can find in stores. For this we need to have the right production and distribution facilities. P3 Poznań offers a very attractive combination of an available labour force with a location that allows easy transport to our largest markets.”
Gareth Williams, Sofa.com CEO
P3 Poznań is 10km south of the city of Poznań, in Poland’s rapidly growing Gądki logistics area. It is close to the A2 highway, which provides a direct motorway link from Warsaw via Poznań to Berlin and western Europe. Public transport connections serve the Gądki area.
Total 195,108 m2 on completion, currently 101,483 m2 in five buildings with the opportunity for up to 93,625 m2 of Build-to-Suit space.
Construction of the park commenced in 2008.
The largest occupiers include PF Logo Express, CEVA Logistics, Wheels Logistic and DHL.
11,252 m2 Build-to-Suit facility comprising:
- 4,386 m2 of production space, including one of the most modern carpentry rooms in Poland
- 6,201 m2 of warehouse space
- 665 m2 of office space
- March 2014
- 1 September 2014; the first sofa was delivered the same day
235 people work for Zaparoh at P3 Poznań.
Early discussions with the Zaparoh team allowed P3’s development team to identify that the project could be scaled back to save 30% of the construction costs without impacting the target production capacity of 50,000 sofas per year.
A smaller warehouse also means lower energy costs through reduced heat loss from the fewer skylights that are required under local building regulations.
In March 2014, Sofa.com signed a contract for P3 to build a 11,252 m2 production, distribution and office facility at P3 Poznań to be leased by Zaparoh.
Construction work started quickly because P3 owned the land and already had the necessary building permits in place.
The project was handed over on 1 September, delivered within budget and ahead of schedule.