19 May 2024, 09:11
By Furniture News Jan 03, 2023

Sales director transition at progressive sofamaker

Alpha Designs Upholstery's sales director Barry Webb has retired, and his replacement Nichola Bell (ex-Westbridge) is looking forward to her new role at the progressive sofamaker.

Barry says: “After 40 years in the furniture industry – the last six of them with Alpha Designs – I’m looking forward to for some well-deserved rest!”

Barry has worked with “some of the industry’s best” during his furniture career, including Buoyant Upholstery, Christie Tyler and Furniture Origins. Given his professional approach and enduring work ethic, Barry says the decision to call it a day was not easy, but he feels he has made a positive mark on the trade. 

“Working with Alpha has been a breath of fresh air,” he continues. “Thanks to their ‘can do’ attitude, Charlotte [Floate, director], Con, myself and the rest of the team have beat our initial growth plan and established Alpha Designs as a commercial, supportive, customer service-led business.”

Barry's replacement, Nichola Bell, is excited by the prospect of working with such a “solid, dependable business, with customer service at its heart”. 

She says: “I’m looking forward to working with a team who are so committed to their customers – 2023 will be an exciting year for all of us, as we concentrate on new designs, fabrics and trends, cementing Alpha’s DNA for the future”. 

Charlotte says she is “thrilled” that Nichola is joining the business, and that her passion, capability and experience will prove invaluable going into another challenging year. 

“Like every upholstery business, we’ve faced huge challenges in gaining and retaining staff, dealing with component price increases and supply shortages,” says Charlotte. “We’ve weathered the storm thus far by building strong bonds with our team members, supplier base and customers, and we will to continue to build upon those relationships, as people really are the crux of what we do. 

“Obviously, we’re sad to be losing Barry to a life of peace and quiet, as he’s been instrumental to our success – but now Nichola will drive the business, ensuring our key values remain in place. I truly believe there’s a great future ahead for UK upholstery and Alpha Designs.”

Read more about Alpha's plans for 2023 and this year's JFS in January's Furniture News.

Pictured: Audrey, Alpha Designs Upholstery

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