Family-owned business Sussex Beds has revealed how its investment in a new HP Latex 800W has allowed the company to significantly increase its marketing reach and deliver an enhanced shopping experience to customers.
Founded in 1981, Sussex Beds has grown from one store to a network of 15 branches across Sussex, Kent and Surrey. The company stocks a range of quality mattresses and beds in a welcoming and relaxed shopping environment.
This focus on delivering an enhanced shopping experience to customers led Sussex Beds to purchase its first machine from HP in 2018 – an HP DesignJet Z6600. The company primarily uses this machine to produce posters and similar marketing materials for campaigns across its shops. Such was the success of this venture that Sussex Beds soon doubled its printing firepower and invested in a second HP DesignJet Z6600 machine in 2019.
Having experienced the many benefits of producing printed materials in house, rather than having to outsource work, Sussex Beds recently opted to take the next step and push the boundaries of its printing capabilities further. This ultimately led to its investment in an HP Latex 800W printer in March 2023 from approved HP dealer Perfect Colours.
With the new HP Latex 800W in place, Nick Butcher, Visual Merchandising Manager at Sussex Beds, said it has opened up all manner of new opportunities for the company in terms of the type of work it can produce, highlighting the machine’s white ink capabilities in particular.
“The great thing with the HP Latex 800W is the white printing aspect,” Nick Butcher said. “We can print on limited substrates with the Z machines but nowhere near as many as with the Latex. It means that in the future we may be able to move away from traditional posters and into something more interesting, such as adding backlit effects to printed pieces.
“Then there is the opportunity for us to look at applications like floor coverings, which is something we haven’t been able to fully utilise before. In addition, we can add graphics to our vehicles and use them as mobile advertising while out on the road.
“The HP Latex 800W opens up those possibilities; it allows us to go over and above the usual window and wall applications. We have lots of other areas that we can now investigate.”
Being able to print such a range of applications in house, and often at short notice, helps set Sussex Beds apart in what is a very busy market. Steve Pickering, Chief Executive of Sussex Beds, said since adopting in-house print a few years ago, the company’s average order value has increased three-fold – something he largely puts down to its enhanced printing capabilities.
“Being able to print and back up our own brand, as well as enhancing the look and feel of our stores, have been huge contributing factors in our success,” Steve Pickering said. “We have maximised the use of our printers, especially when it comes to improving the exterior of our stores to further push our brand.
“We can also produce sashes that stretch across the bottom of the mattress and tell the consumer all the benefits of each mattress. Communicating this information to customers is crucial.”
Nick Butcher also highlighted how the sustainable qualities of HP Latex printing technology fits in with the company’s own commitment to the environment. All HP Latex printers use water-based inks, which are much kinder to the planet than other ink types such as solvent, eco-solvent and UV.
“HP Latex printers lay ink on the substrate rather than in it, so it makes recycling the substrate much easier,” Nick Butcher said. “HP cartridges are made from cardboard and can be recycled, while we have also been recycling our Z ink cartridges through the HP Planet Partner program for a while.”
Since investing in the Latex 800W, the family business has been able to improve their cost savings and strengthen their efficiency, production, and sustainability stance. In terms of working with HP, Steve Pickering concludes: “HP couldn’t do more for us. The contact and support we have had has been excellent.”