Homestyle GB enters 2013 in its strongest position to date, with a successful portfolio of products and a significant amount invested in stock. The company will display its portfolio in Hall 4, stand B15, at Interiors UK this month – but what makes it stand out from the competition? MD Mark Loveless explains ...

“Will 2013 be a defining year in the industry? Has the consumer fully embraced the notion of purchasing furniture online? Is the consumer satisfied with the limited choice offered by retailer Oak Furniture Land?

“It appears that the high street is undergoing a massive, unprecedented change,” says Mark. “Large swathes remain empty, and the situation is not improving. Rates are ridiculously high, and rents still excessive, whilst margins are squeezed to the bare minimum – and all this at the worst possible moment in time. Recession still looms, and competition is fierce!

“Little wonder the retailer needs to carefully consider what to do next – although remaining static is a non-option. The internet – does it offer salvation? Maybe, but many examples have fallen, or operate at zero profit. So few calculate the perils of web-based transactions – the true cost of logistics is rarely wholly considered. Yet, all too often, internet retailers continue to believe they can operate on substantially lower margins than the small independents.? It’s just not true.

“Considering the above, one may be forgiven for viewing the future with a certain amount of bleakness. Homestyle GB considers itself not exceptional, but reflective of the industry – and, if it can attain success, so too can others.?

“The decision to review and upgrade the supply chain was instrumental in the company’s performance – a decision never lightly considered, but born through necessity, requiring production to be disassociated from competitors.

“And Oak Furniture Land – how could one compete or ensure quality and levels of service with such an organisation in the proximity? It has been an ideal opportunity to reinforce levels of quality and expectation from our new partners. Earlier last year, one possibly needed to decide whether to compete with or differentiate on product against Oak Furniture Land – however, one can do both by sourcing products from Homestyle GB. The company purchases solely on value, not on price! And it will absolutely not forego quality – at any cost.

“All our chairs are fully assembled. Yes, there’s added expense in freight, but a chair’s critical element is its structure/assembly – be wary of inferior KD chairs. Do you really believe that these factories are building these chairs pre-assembled before dis-assembling, ready to ship out to the customer? Irrespective of that being done, it’s not possible to have the same strength or sturdiness when designed with a KD format.? How can they possibly control the quality and level of chairs? The answer is they can’t, and they don’t!?

“Now, consider the regularity of incorrect, missing or inaccurately-machined components. Homestyle GB endeavours to steer clear whenever possible from KD construction, whatever the item of furniture.

“Our oak frame chairs use higher-grade American oak, the majority of which come with high density foam and bycast leather pads. Chairs have become a major part of our business – we have several new models on display at the exhibition: our Grand Prix collection with contrast piping; our popular Richmond chair, now available in a matt finish; and the Henley, a full leather chair, a part of the Café Collection, soon to be available in three colours – mocha, espresso and latte.

“The portfolio boasts the addition of several new solid-framed chairs. A visit to the stand is highly recommended for the chairs alone – excellent offers will be available.

“Our Rustic range, albeit similar in appearance to what’s currently available on the market, is 100% oak – no ply, veneer, or ‘Chinese hardwoods’. If you would like to be able to match or beat Oak Furniture Land on this range, please consult us!

“The Opus range of furniture has been upgraded. With superior raw materials, and available with wooden bar handles, it’s now on a par with expensive premium ranges.

“Since the Z range was promoted in recent issues of Furniture News, demand has grown exponentially. If you’re looking for something new in 2013, look no further – this designer range of furniture is unequalled.

“And finally, the launch of the DeLuxe range at Birmingham completes the line-up. We at Homestyle GB look forward to showcasing our products, and look forward to your feedback.”