The Painted Furniture Company: If you can't beat them... join them
PUBLISHED: 11:41 01 November 2013 | UPDATED: 11:22 04 November 2013
Cirencester's The Painted Furniture Company discuss how they maintain their position in the high street.
A question many people ask is “How’s Business?” The simple answer is that business is pretty good, but life on the high street is very tough and every retailer worth their salt knows they need to stay on top of their game, and adapt quickly to give customers exactly what they want.
The Painted Furniture Company was born from Cotswold Living’s need to expand, develop the brand and offer our customers something different, something that was new to the market. We also used The Painted Furniture Company to open up a whole new customer base by making it a national online brand.
You hear lots of use of the phrase “The high street is dead”, is that true?
Absolutely not. I’ve certainly no intention of moving from our town centre location. It is true that the growth in online shopping has had a massive impact on the high street, but we need to accept that it is a tidal wave that won’t stop and we have to adjust the business to work with it. We operate both online and through a high street showroom. Every day, we welcome customers who have travelled, often quite significant distances, to view first-hand the furniture they have seen on our website. This week alone we have customers who have driven from Kent and from Sheffield. If we didn’t keep our showroom we may not secure that kind of business.
So how do you encourage customers to travel to visit your showrooms?
Not as difficult as you might think. I think it’s just two key things. Firstly make sure the product is different and interesting. The Painted Furniture Company is all about delivering a beautifully made product and giving our customer a choice of different and exciting colours. Our customers will often be fitting out whole rooms or even whole houses rather than buying a single piece, so that kind of investment is always worth making a trip for. When a similar product can’t be found elsewhere customers will travel. The worst mistake any high street retailer can make is to keep trying to sell a commodity, the mass market items that can be found anywhere.
Secondly, we know that people love the Cotswolds, and I have no qualms about using our location as a lure. We always tell potential customers what a wonderful place Cirencester is to spend the day and how many lovely independent stores we have in the town. The town basically becomes part of our brand.
Generating new business via the internet business is an essential part of maintaining the buzz around the shop and keeping it busy - there is no way that either one would work as well without the other.
So, what are this season’s hottest selling pieces?
Great question. Usually this time of year is all about dining, dining, dining, and that has been true again, with the Cotswold Oval Table in the new lilac colour we call Wentworth selling really well.
However, it has been quite a surprise that we are still selling almost as much on the bedroom side and the new Island Breeze and CHLOE collections are the favourites, but not by very much because all of the collections are great! Both Island Breeze and CHLOE are British made bedroom furniture collections and the styling is just superb, clean sharp lines and the range of colours give both collections a simple contemporary feel.
So when it comes to painted furniture, grey is the new ivory?
You bet it is! Ivory and white are still the classic colours to mix with an oak top of course, and you can’t go wrong with that combination, but the modern grey colours are extremely popular. We don’t quite have fifty shades, but we do have an Urban Grey, a Winter Mist, a Harbour Grey, a Natural Stone, a Toasted Almond and a Rockford.
To sample these and many other colours just drop in for a coffee and talk painted furniture with us!
Cotswold Living of Cirencester is the
home of The Painted Furniture Company
17-19 Gosditch Street, Cirencester,
Gloucestershire, GL7 2AG
Visit their website: www.paintedfurnitureco.co.uk
Tel: 01285 659570