Robert Dyas

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Robert Dyas
Private Limited Company
Industry Retail
Founded London, England (1872)
Founder Robert Dyas
Headquarters Cleeve Court, Cleeve Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, England
Number of locations
96. (97 in April 2014) [1]
Area served
England (mainly southeast)
Key people
Bea Pearson (Chief Operating Officer)
Products Homeware, DIY, Small Domestic Appliances, Consumer Electronics, Gardening, Ironmongers
Revenue Increase£114 million (2012/13)
Owner Theo Paphitis
Number of employees
1300 (Dec 2013)

Robert Dyas is a UK retailer founded in London in 1872. Currently owned by entrepreneur Theo Paphitis. The website and stores provide ranges of housewares, small electrical appliances, gardening products, kitchenwares, DIY, and consumer electronics throughout 96 stores, mainly in Greater London and South East England.


Since 2012 Robert Dyas has been owned by Theo Paphitis, the entrepreneur and long-time star of BBC's Dragons' Den.

Almost exactly a century before Theo Paphitis emigrated to the UK, the founder Robert Dyas emigrated to England from County Meath, Ireland. With an inheritance of just £5 he opened his first shop in the capital in 1872. By the time of his death at the age of 66 he had established 18 stores. His sons took over after that, followed by his two grandsons who died in 1961 and 2002.

Robert Dyas has survived several catastrophes including the Great Depression and the Blitz in which the head office, warehouse and 18 stores were destroyed.

In 1997, Robert Dyas's head office and warehouse burnt down in Croydon; the head office is now in Leatherhead, Surrey.

In March 2004, Robert Dyas was bought by Change Capital Partners, a private equity firm headed by former Marks & Spencer chairman Luc Vandevelde.

By spring 2009, the company had come close to collapse with rumoured debts of £30 million.[2] Change Capital Partners had lost control of the company to Lloyds Banking Group and Allied Irish Banking Group who owned the debt. Following a management buy-out, backed by the Lloyds Banking Group on 8 April [2] steps were taken by September of that year to secure its viability through a debt-for-equity deal that gave its lenders a majority stake in the chain.[3]

In 2010–2011, Robert Dyas introduced a new trading format, increased its online offering and expanded the use of web kiosks and browsers.

The company was put up for sale in November 2011 by the Lloyds Banking Group and Allied Irish Banking Group. Following a sale process led by Cavendish Corporate Finance, the company was successfully sold in July 2012 to Theo Paphitis.[1]

Stores and products[edit]

Robert Dyas currently operates around 96 standalone shops (growing to 97 in April 2014). Stores vary in size from a large 9,000 sq ft (840 m2) right down to 1,250 sq ft (116 m2). These are mainly found in London and the south east of England, but also exist as far away as Bristol in the West and Solihull and Kenilworth in the West Midlands.

In 2013 a rolling programme of introducing electronic displays into stores was started. Now 20 stores have both electronic screens in stores, showing infomercials, plus screens in front windows showing electronic posters. Store teams also use portable tablets to help customer purchasing decisions and improve their overall shopping experience.

The product range is primarily focused on housewares and light DIY. Core departments include kitchenware, vacuums and kitchen appliances, steam cleaning, cleaning chemicals and laundry products, garden care, outdoor leisure, DIY tools and materials, home office and technology. The business has also expanded into seasonal gifting ranges at key times of the year.[4]


  1. ^ a b Theo Paphitis buys Robert Dyas
  2. ^ a b BBC News: Management to buy out Robert Dyas
  3. ^ Robert Dyas debt-for-equity swap gives lenders Allied Irish and Lloyds Banking Group majority stake - Telegraph
  4. ^ Robert Dyas

External links[edit]