Independent retailer Furniture For The Home is celebrating the first birthday of its Black Country showroom, after posting its best year yet.

Furniture For The Home, which was set up as an online business in 2011 by Gornal entrepreneur Simon Foster, has seen sales soar to £1.15m in the past 12 months after it decided to launch its first ever store – investing £75,000 into transforming the County Wallpapers building outside Sedgley, West Midlands.

Five new jobs have already been created to help cope with the expansion, with the possibility of more to follow.

MD Simon Foster says: “There has been a lot of talk recently about the High Street being a thing of the past, but we’re disproving that theory by demonstrating you can be successful both online and in store. Over the last seven years we’ve built up strong partnerships with our suppliers and can sell the products in our showroom at the same price as we can on the website. The difference is some consumers want to test beds, sofas and see how things look when placed in a living room environment.

“The showroom on Dudley Road has given us the ideal opportunity to do just that. We’ve saved a famous building – once Jack Darby’s Picture House – from being turned into housing and made it into a destination venue for local people to come and discover great home and bedroom furniture and furnishings.”

Work on the building in Sedgley took six months to complete and created 4500 sqft of open-plan space for 15 living/dining room settings and a dedicated bedroom department.

Simon concludes: “To say thank you to everyone who has supported us in the past 12 months we are hosting a special Birthday Weekend (May 4-7th) where there will be refreshments, spot prizes, giveaways and balloons for the children.”

Furniture For The Home, which also operates an 8,000 sqft warehouse in the Black Country, expects to grow sales across its showroom and online operation, with plans in place to launch a new website in the next two months and expand the business to £1.5m by 2020.