Hillarys

BACKGROUND

Hillarys, founded in 1971, is the UK’s leading provider of made-to-measure window blinds with a 25% market share.  The company manufactures, sells and delivers a full in-home measuring and fitting service for its customers.

CCP acquired a controlling stake in the business in July 2004 in a secondary buy-out, with the management team re-investing significantly in the transaction.

WHY WE LIKED HILLARYS

WHAT WE SAW DIFFERENTLY

We quickly identified pre-acquisition, that advertising effectiveness fell short of industry best practice.  The company, through a sophisticated IT platform, had a significant volume of data detailing returns on each individual piece of advertising.  By using this data more effectively and redirecting advertising spend away from unprofitable national brand advertising to more targeted, proven, local advertising the management team was able to significantly improve the customer conversion rate.  The resulting higher returns on advertising expenditure underpinned Hillarys’ profitable growth strategy.

HOW WE HELPED

Working closely with the management team at the time of acquisition we collectively agreed that we needed to invest in a senior leadership team that would drive the sales and marketing growth agenda.  As a result, we appointed a new CEO, CFO and Commercial Director, all with sales and marketing backgrounds who believed in the opportunity and worked on advertising effectiveness.  This management team focussed on and delivered several growth initiatives which included:

THE RESULT

During our involvement with Hillarys, we supported management to transform the business from a manufacturer to a multi-channel, multi-brand, multi-product sales and marketing company with a strong platform for further growth. Change Capital Partners successfully exited the business after three years in June 2007.