'How I built £100m bathroom business Plumbworld'

Over the last 25 years since he founded Plumbworld, James Hickman has sold his business, bought it back, sold for a second time and is still at the helm of one of the UK’s biggest online bathroom and plumbing retailers. “I can’t seem to let it go,” Hickman muses of his rollercoaster career. Plumbworld, which employs 200 staff, turned over £100m in sales last year and Hickman’s encyclopedic knowledge and investment in technology and e-commerce has been the cornerstone of success for the Evesham-based firm. It is no surprise, then, to hear that of Plumbworld’s four-strong board, three are accountants and all are “IT geeks”. After dropping out of a physics degree at Imperial College, Hickman first trained as an accountant for a water controls’ firm. While there, he helped out in marketing and ended up building the firm’s first website. Hickman soon resigned from his job and delved into the world of website design, building sites for other large plumbing players. Read More: 'I always say doing removals defines you for the rest of your working life' After buying a series of ‘how to’ books from Waterstones, Hickman taught himself coding and took on clients such as Golf Online,...

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