24 April 2024, 13:53
By Furniture News Jan 15, 2020

The Big Question: Who’s setting the best example in furniture retail?

What do you think? From emerging trends to the latest business principles, Furniture News is setting out to gauge the trade’s feelings on a variety of industry-specific topics. Today, we’re asking: "Who’s setting the best example in furniture retail?" *

Paul Galley (Antelope Design/Symmetry CGI): We look to Restoration Hardware in the States a lot. Interesting products over a wide range of styles

Kate Pilling (January/Manchester Furniture Show): I can’t name names … but I would say retailers who are diversifying and responding to the rise of online retailing

Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): It depends what you’re looking for. In terms of marketing and ‘making the right noises’, I’d say Barker & Stonehouse. In terms of pure performance, the giant that is DFS, which continues to gobble up customers

Rob Scarlett (Scarlett Furniture & Print): Barker & Stonehouse are good but I really like Heal’s the best. They have a style all of their own (shout out to IKEA too, who really know how to create value-added products)

Simon Ainge (Kettle Interiors): In terms of displays, I am always really impressed with Arighi Bianchi and Barker & Stonehouse. For commercial appeal, Sterling Furniture offer a vast array of product as well as thought-out price points. Dunelm and ScS are examples of companies performing well in our sector

Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): In terms of style and display, I love and admire Barker & Stonehouse. DFS built their product lines around their brand, providing exclusivity whilst protecting margin. Finally, Dreams, with their Replace Every 8 (years) campaign, which has changed consumer mindset regarding the frequency of changing their mattresses

Thomas Small (TCS): I still think DFS is hard to beat – they have that end of the market sewn up

Mike Murray (Land of Beds): I like Bensons for Beds’ new showrooms and I also like what Dreams have done with their Sleep Match technology – both are starting to create real theatre in-store 

Tom Bourne (Select First): Can it be anyone other than IKEA? I like the way it’s been collaborating with big guns of design and fashion such as Tom Dixon and Virgil Abloh, to develop design pieces that are still obtainable and practical for the typical IKEA shopper. It’s a beast of a company and you can’t deny the impact it’s had on the sector

David Ashton (JYSK UK): John Lewis for service and quality – its profits performance is a different matter. However, I also like some of the local independent retailers, where you can receive lovely and local customer service

Gavin Boden (Rhenus Home Delivery): Furniture Village, keeping their core values

James Hudson (Gallery Direct): Companies who are evolving, with both strong online and bricks-and-mortar presence

Jerry Cheshire (Surrey Beds): Anyone who recognises that quality and service is more important than price tag – they’re usually the retailers who are doing quite well

Steve Adams (MattressOnline): IKEA – they help to set trends and offer quality and style for all budgets

James Hollas (Bensons for Beds): I enjoy a walk round Barker & Stonehouse, as there’s always something interesting. Bensons is a volume retailer, so I’m always interested in any part of the market where someone is doing something different and doing it well

* Apart from the respondent’s own business, of course!

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