The Journey’s Start
Welcome to our new blog . I hope this content will give our clients and visitors a real insight in to A World Of Furniture ; it’s ‘story’ , the ‘day to day goings ons ‘, philosophies , products and of course our team .
So let’s start right back at the beginning …
Lucy , my wife , and I first met way back in the early Eighties at a ‘party in the woods’.. Six years later we married and started planning for an exciting future together .Both of us had ‘skipped’ the now very conventional University ‘pathway’. Instead we both picked up ‘real life skills’. We quickly realised that we shared an enthusiasm for doing things properly and completely. This ‘recipe of attributes’ was to create the basis of our new business …
In 1995 , Lucy and I opened the doors of our new specialist pine furniture store , A World Of Pine , in Salisbury . Perhaps the journey really started there. Somebody once told me ‘You don’t know what you don’t know ‘. And maybe as a ‘young couple ‘ setting up and running our own business being fully aware of what laid ahead might of some what dampened our enthusiasm. But as always we followed our hearts and looked for good I every situation we came across .
In those very early days we both needed to be so very sure of our objectives and aims and how we intended to meet them . It was soon very clear we needed to look after one another , then tend to our businesses every need … it would in turn look after us .
As I think back to those ‘foundation days ‘ the feelings of excitement and trepidation flood back . Moments of exhaustion, exhilaration and satisfaction filled our weeks . We were at that time ‘sure’ that our retail offering was very unique, but what we were not sure of was that the status quo would always favour us.
One thing we came to understand very fast is that it is so important to surround yourself with good people … It is the people who make the difference . Simon , our current Sales Director , literally strolled in off the street looking for holiday work whilst completing a university degree. He along with a couple of other notable AWOP personalities were the ‘original team’. Our team past and present deserves ‘greater attention’ no doubt deserving a future post ..
To this day Lucy and I still remember our original suppliers and manufacturers. It was a different world back in the ‘nineties’ compared to where we find ourselves now . Fortunately much of our product range was created here at home in the UK. The support we received from our suppliers was outstanding… Fantastic credit terms , fast delivery , trust and on many occasion ‘that personal touch ‘.
One occasion springs to mind which sums up how fantastically we were supported .One day back in earlier times , I had left Lucy in the store whilst I had gone off delivering for the day . Bear in mind the store was crammed with over three to four hundred pieces of furniture , was always pretty busy and Lucy was six months pregnant ! A delivery driver , Pete from Duckers Furniture turned up with his 40’ articulated lorry . We we were one of many customers he was due to visit that week . Unselfishly Pete offloaded our goods and spent some time with Lucy minding the store and offloading other deliveries . In those days folk had more on their agenda and Pete’s unselfishness went along way to turbo charging our enthusiasm. But let’s be clear he wasn’t the only one .
Our visitors and customers have always been amazing … But again back then many recognised a young couple trying to make a success of a new and flourishing business. One such customer was a very excitable and vivacious Mr Harper. On a Sunday afternoon over twenty years ago , Lucy and I were working in our Salisbury store busily selling and carrying out furniture to customers cars . Mr Harper , latterly know as Barry, sprung through our doors like someone who had just been given the keys to the ‘sweetie shop’ ! His enthusiasm and plaudits for our furniture and the store were more than memorable ! Thankfully his enthusiasm was supported by his wallet !
So without wanting to simplify the complexities of setting up a new business we knew our objectives, relied on our ‘detail’ and surrounded ourselves with good people.
Our philosophies have always fed in to our day to day regimes but they most certainly created a fantastic platform in those ‘early days’. I can remember Lucy’s grandfather visiting our first store in Salisbury and telling us “ Well done , you’ve really put on a show !”. A World Of Pine needed to be a specialist pine furniture destination run or managed by personalities who wanted to facilitate and make the buying process both easy and enjoyable.
Many of the philosophies and ethics we embedded in the business twenty five plus years ago still remain .
Customer care rates highly on our agenda .
Providing our customers with an offering or array of home furnishings they will be hard pressed to see elsewhere .
Fantastic prices .
A heritage that goes back nearly 30 years and of course that attention to detail .
Many people ask me for my opinion on e-commerce and it’s relationship with furniture sales. My answer is simple and clear “I am yet to see any retailer completely satisfy it’s customer base through the online sales platforms “.
Online sales are all about “speed , removing value , reducing service and depleting the customer experience”. I am sure that our customers expect more . By visiting any of four stores now aptly named “A World Of Furniture’ our customers can be assured they will experience and receive the service they require . Furniture is very tactile and works on your senses …. Customers must see , touch and understand it’s aesthetics.
Lucy , myself and all of our superb team are still ,in 2023, hugely motivated by visitors who are so enthusiastic about our showrooms and huge array of furnishings.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little bit about our humble beginnings and philosophies.Please keep an eye out for my next post .
In the meantime please visit one of our amazing A World Of Furniture superstores located in Salisbury, Blandford Forum , Southampton or Poole .