Planet X shifts gear to achieve international ambitions
Rotherham based Planet X is a specialist bike retailer that operates solely online. Its bikes are designed by its in-house team and retail at up to 50% less than equivalent high street prices. In 2020, Planet X’s 50 employees acquired the business from its founders and set up an Employee Owned Trust. The business has now moved its banking to Santander UK and is accessing a range of facilities to support its ambitious international growth plans.
Currently Planet X has predominately UK based customers, with around 73% of its turnover coming from UK based sales. It has ambitious plans to increase its international sales from its current levels of 22% of turnover from Europe and 5% from the rest of the world. Santander UK is supporting the business with a £1.5m trade finance facility, alongside a range of additional support totalling £3.225m.
As an eCommerce retailer, Planet X has been well placed to serve customers during the pandemic. The Santander team will continue to work closely with Planet X as it increases its online sales capacity to help meet the heightened demand both in the UK and internationally. The £1.5m trade finance facility allows Planet X to drive international growth, providing the company with the confidence to manage supply chains knowing that they have full support of their chosen banking partner.
Trevor Parker, Planet X director, commented: “The Santander team is excellent, their understanding of our Employee Owned Trust busines model gives us great confidence and adds commercial value to our decision making. By listening and understanding our concerns, they were able to present practical solutions to overcome them. With this funding we can react to the changing market, both in terms of Brexit and Covid-19, and our supply chain is now extended.”
Andrew Russell, relationship director at Santander UK, said: “Planet X has a proven track record in the cycling world of delivering quality bikes and accessories at competitive prices and continues to be a great success story. We’re delighted to be chosen as their banking partner and look forward to working with them to realise their growth strategy and expand into new territories.”