Dreams turnaround guru Mike Logue’s five steps to transform a struggling retailer

Former Dreams CEO Mike Logue reveals how he turned the struggling bedding retailer around at The Retail Technology Show.

Ex Dreams boss Mike Logue
Ex Dreams boss Mike Logue

Mike Logue has staged a dream turnaround of beds retailer Dreams over the past eight years.

He joined the retailer just months after it had fallen into administration.

In the months and years that followed, Logue transformed the retailer into a thriving business with growing sales, profits and market share.

Logue left Dreams late last year following its £340 million sale to Tempur Sealy, the largest bedding business in the world. He reveals his secrets to a successful business turnaround at The Retail Technology Show.

1. Work out what the problem is

When Logue first joined Dreams he says he realised he “couldn’t make it any worse” and set about devising his action plan.

His first task was to determine why the business went bust. From there he could work out what needed to change and how he was going to do it.

“When you’re owned by a private equity fund – you have to get results,” he says, confessing that after just two days on the job he was told that the clock was ticking.

Logue knew the products being sold at the time were bad, that he needed to improve store experience and its digital offering to inspire more customers and that’s exactly what he did.

“Some say we didn’t do it quick enough, but we did it.”

Logue says that to find out the true state of play, bosses must listen to both colleagues and customers as “listening turns to action”.

For Logue, this meant going out to stores, meeting with regional staff and even driving transit vans.

2. Bring your staff on board for the journey

After chatting with customers, Logue found that they all mentioned that they simply wanted a better night’s sleep and that’s how it’s “because your sleep matters” slogan came to be.

He pushed ahead and changed Dreams’ products, moving away from “boomerang beds that were coming back quicker than we were selling them”.

However, Logue needed all his staff, from those in HR to those on the shop floor, to understand and embrace his new strategy.

Logue admits that his staff were sceptical of his ambitions at first but he persevered and soon his “amazing team” came on board for the transformation journey.

Former Dreams CEO Mike Logue reveals how he turned the struggling bedding retailer around at The Retail Technology Show.
Dreams transformed into the market leader in beds.

3. Unleash the power of digital

When Logue first joined Dreams in 2013, Google told him that 2.2 million people were searching for a bed per month and astonishingly 1.4 million of them were visiting Dreams.

Logue admits he became “a little bit techy” and decided that as “customers were putting digital first, so did we”.

The retailer invested £2 million into a new ecommerce platform and made sure that every colleague in the business was asked how it should look.

4. Investing in your workforce

“It’s about people,” Logue insists, when discussing Dreams’ turnaround.

In the months after his arrival, Logue established that many teams in its head office did not know each other and that had to change.

“We invested loads of time to get people to know eachother and it worked. Any reason for a party, we had it,” he says.

Engaged colleagues combined with better product was the best combination to convince customers to buy, he says.

5. Develop values to guide the business

Logue also stands by his CARE (customer, attitudes, results and everyone) values.

“I cared about this and I was passionate about this. I’ve worked in business where I didn’t care – this makes the difference,” he insists.

Logue confesses that after one meeting he said: “If you don’t’ care about this I’d like you to leave,” as ultimately it is the customer that pays the bills.

“Choose the attitude to care for that customer, leave problems at the door, don’t bring it into the business.”

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