An eCommerce website offering inflatable hot tubs has become an unlikely success story during the national lockdown.

Newcastle-based Wave Direct has reported a sales increase of 1600% in the last month, a boost in demand which has required one of the firm’s directors to leave their job.

The business, which specialises in portable inflatable outdoor spas and hot tubs began as a part time lifestyle business for its co-founders, Tom Jeffrey and Daniel Luper, who were turning over £300,000 annually.

Since lockdown began, and in a period of sunny weather, the firm has become a multi-million pound ecommerce brand with sales reaching over £4m in April alone.

The business reports that it now ramping up its operations and logistics processes as demand continues, and is working with North East logistics provider The Storage Place and order fulfilment solution Veeqo to maintain fulfilment.

The co-founders, recognising their success is one of a few positives to come from coronavirus, have said they will donate a percentage of the firm’s sales to NHS charities and will offer a 10% discount for all NHS staff.

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CEO Daniel Luper said: “When sales started to go through the roof, we instantly wanted to give back any way we could and we’re hoping that by providing key workers with a discount code and donating a percentage of our sales to the NHS we will be doing just that.”

Speaking about the success MD Tom Jeffrey added: “The past few months have been incredible and we’ve had to really ramp up our operational model and work around the clock to make sure our products are getting out to customers as soon and as safely as possible. It has been an enormous challenge but one we’re hugely grateful for in the current climate.”

The firm’s success has allowed it to move forward plans for four more websites to be launched in other countries via its technology partner, eCommerce platform Aero Commerce.

Jeffery said: “We are working with the team on a number of exciting developments and plan to move our sister site over to the platform as soon as possible.”