Dreams - Business Turnaround


About the brand

Dreams is the UK’s leading bed and mattress retailer, founded in 1987. It operates a store estate of c.180 stores and achieved a turnover of £280m in FY15. In April 2013, Dreams was acquired by Sun European Partners following a pre-pack administration.

Dreams Bed.jpg

The Challenge/Task

Dreams’ management asked Pragma to support a turnaround of the business and define the Dreams brand framework.

Pragma undertook an extensive work programme that included an intensive business evaluation, a thorough review of operational performance, qualitative research and a new brand framework


  • Intensive business plan evaluation and operational review
  • Management interviews and review of operational performance
  • For the brand framework specifically, we mixed shopper and employee insight by completing customer focus groups and staff workshops to inform brand proposition development
  • Estate optimisation, including both micro and macro location analysis
  • Dreams posted a 207% jump EBITDA in the year to December 23, 2015. Like-for-likes in the period rose 19.4%, as the second-half outperformed the first. Total sales climbed 16.2% to £234.2m.

The Result

Pragma’s recommendations focussed on getting the basics of selling beds right, which helped to increase conversion significantly, and optimising the store estate. Our conclusions formed the basis of the turnaround plan that the business put in place in 2012, and continued to implement following the sale of the business in March 2013 to Sun European Partners. The turnaround plan saw the business increase like-for-like sales significantly, and return to profitability in 2014