22 May 2024, 12:44
By Furniture News Jun 01, 2023

Image to celebrate 20th anniversary at IFHS

This year, Ireland’s Image Furnishings is celebrating 20 years of delivering “a new level of wholesale” to its customers. Furniture News caught up with the supplier’s director/founders Mark and David Gannon to find out more …

How are you planning to celebrate? 

We’re looking forward to marking this milestone with our customers at the Irish Furniture & Homewares Show (IFHS) this July (2nd-4th), where we’ll hosting our main celebrations at the Image Furnishings stand,  for both customers and staff to enjoy! 

This milestone is an opportunity for us to reflect on and celebrate all that we’ve achieved over the years. When we started this business 20 years ago, we could never have imagined where it would take us.

What were the company’s beginnings?

Image Furnishings started as a family-run furniture business. Having previous experience of travelling to Asia visiting factories, in 2003 we started importing our own products. We began as business partners, with David looking after the logistics and Mark handling the sales. This allowed us to create key relationships with customers, which became the foundations of today’s business.

The business started out in small premises just up the road from where our warehouse is now, in The Walk, Roscommon. As we value being a family business, we take pride in the fact that some of our employees have been with us since the business began, and most of our team have been with us for many years. We are proud to be contributing to our local community in Roscommon, and are continuously looking to grow our team.

In 2007, Image Furnishings began to expand, and we built our first warehouse and office space.

What was the most significant development in the company’s history?

In 2010 we consolidated our manufacturing in China. This was a key change in how we did business, as we saw how important it was to manage the supply chain at every link, from the material suppliers to the end user. 

We hired our own QC staff and became more involved in product development. This also led us to opening an office in China, with logistics and office-based staff. We are fortunate to have a great team in China, who consistently ensure that all aspects of the products we produce maintain our high standards. We have maintained our relationships with our partners, which has allowed us to build bigger and better relationships with customers and production partners. 

Can you outline your current product offer? 

We offer our customers high-quality, on-trend upholstery products across a number of categories, including motion and static sofas, occasional chairs, sofabeds and children’s furniture.

How is your portfolio set to grow this year?

Tailoring our designs to match current market trends is an ongoing process, in order for us to produce commercial, high-value sellers to our customers. We’ve seen a keen interest in designs with electronic and technology components, which is something that we’ll be focusing on this year.

Are there any additional services/offers that will also be bolstered this year?

Image Furnishings has grown and evolved so much over the years, and we are delighted to have completed our new distribution centre this year, which will help us provide a better service to our customers. We also have plans to commence building a new HQ, which will be completed in early 2024, and will include a showroom where we’ll be able to showcase our products for our customers.  

As we celebrate 20 years in business and how far we’ve come, we plan to continue to shape our business so that our future operations will continue to have a positive impact on our stakeholders (customers, suppliers and employees), as well as the environment, while fostering a strong social impact on society. Our goal is to sustain a culture where everyone we do business with feels empowered. 

The installation of our new solar panel system on our distribution centre is the first step to reducing our carbon footprint. With these solar panels we’re now able to generate our own electricity and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future. 

As part of our eco-packaging initiative, Image Furnishings are now using FSC-certified carton boxes, which ensures all of the materials used are sourced from sustainably managed forests for our packaging. We are now using only GRS-certified recycled plastic, which will reduce our use of virgin plastic in our packaging by approximately -90% 

How have you seen trends evolve over the decades, and how have you responded? 

Image Furnishings have been very agile with meeting market needs. We made the move from offering a high-priced premium leather fabric to contemporary-style, on-trend fabrics which were more affordable to our customers.  As we deal with fabric mills directly, we can always ensure these fabrics are of the highest standard. 

What role does the business play in the IFHS

Since the IFHS was established in 2013 by Mark, we’ve always supported the show by providing resources to help it become its own entity. We strive to support the furniture industry in any way we can, so it is great to see the IFHS now taking on a life of its own.

Pictured: Mark and David Gannon

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