Loungers is an innovative chain of informal, neighbourhood all-day café bars that provide customers with a ‘third space’ between work and home, to meet, chat, eat and drink in a relaxed atmosphere, on the local High Street.
It was started in 2002 by a trio of longstanding friends, Alex Reilley, Jake Bishop and Dave Reid who opened their first site in Bristol, a city that now supports a total of six Lounges.
A second chain, Cosy Club, has been developed to offer customers a similar solution in city centres, with 20 sites now opened across the UK.
The team at Loungers wanted to de-risk their personal stakes in the business by selling a significant minority stake. Piper’s investment and support have enabled the business to rapidly scale the Loungers and Cosy Club businesses, taking advantage of unit vacancies and rental deals. Piper have also helped by undertaking demographic analysis of sites to underpin the roll out programme; conducting customer research to further develop and define the Cosy Club proposition; growing the team; and creating a world class development programme for managers using a third party introduced by Piper. Since investment, Loungers have achieved rapid growth, going from 12 sites at investment to over 100 by 2017.
|2002||The first Lounge site opened in Bristol|
|2011||The first three Cosy Club units are opened|
|2012||Piper invests. Crispin Tweddell, Chairman of Piper becomes Chairman of Loungers. Nick Collins joins the team as Finance Director. A further 5 lounges and 2 Cosy Clubs are opened. Annual growth + 40%|
|2013||Roll out is accelerated; additional debt facilities raised, menu development and the people development pipeline are a key focus.|
|2016||Piper exits Loungers in a deal valuing the business at £137m|