Furniture Village’s commercial director Charlie Harrison has been presented with a Next Generation Award by Family Business United.
The award recognises members of the next generation who have made significant contributions to their own family business.
Shortlisted alongside eight other future family business leaders, Charlie’s drive, passion and commitment was recognised as ‘outstanding’ by a panel of expert judges.
Charlie’s career at Furniture Village spans more than 20 years and has seen him work his way up from a warehouse in Croydon, where he took a Saturday job aged 16, to the board room. His father, chief executive Peter Harrison, founded the business in 1989.
Charlie comments: “This year marks my 20th anniversary at Furniture Village. Working alongside my father, day in, day out for the past 20 years has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. I’ve learned from the best. It's an honour to steer the business into the next generation, doing right by our customers, our suppliers, our partners and our planet. It’s been a phenomenal ride – here’s to the next 20!”
Over the years Charlie has played an instrumental role, from launching the retailer’s first transactional website in 2010 (which now turns over more than £50m), to initiating the development of a new sales app that offers customers an omnichannel experience.
Family Business United’s MD Paul Andrews says: “It’s an absolute honour to present Charlie with the Next Generation Award. Family businesses would not exist if it were not for the underlying involvement of families and individuals within these businesses – notably the next generation, as they step up to take on various roles as the business and the family look to the future.
“Charlie’s commitment to Furniture Village over the last 20 years has been quite honestly outstanding and it’s clear that he’s played an enormous role in both the success and growth of the business and will continue to do so in the years to come. The feedback from his colleagues and suppliers spoke of a man who is not only great at what he does, but someone who is valued for his integrity, kindness and family spirit – all the makings of a future leader.”
Charlie adds: “Having my own family has brought a new dimension to my work and given me a greater insight into my own father’s life and the sacrifices he made to grow the business to what it is today. Fatherhood gives me an even deeper respect for the unique bonds that tie a family business together. It’s my hope that my two daughters, Isla and Isabella, and my other nephews and nieces will work in the business one day, carrying the torch for future generations.”
Charlie's achievement joins three Family Business Award trophies that were scooped by Furniture Village earlier this year. Named Supreme Champion Family Business of the Year, Retail Family Business of the Year and London & South East Family Business, Furniture Village was recognised for its consistently innovative approach to retail, rich and meaningful family-first culture, and strong growth.
Pictured: Paul Andrews, Charlie Harrison and Ben Fowler, MD of FBU partner Western Pension Solutions