Bed Shops Orpington Kent
I had a spare hour in Orpington last week. Visit a local site of antiquity? An art gallery? No, a wee tour of the local retail park and high street.
Orpington it turns out is the centre of the south east bed universe. Paul Simon Beds, Sleepmasters, Dreams Beds, Beaumont Beds. Those Kent folks have an insatiable need for a new bed it seems. And I bet there are more bed shops again but this was a tour in a straight line to lunch at a local Italian.
So what was on offer? A single pine Pickwick bed frame for £99 from Julian Bowen. Ouch, I thought that’s expensive. A Sealy king size 2 drawer divan at £499. Now that’s a better price. But when I lay on it I jumped off in shock. No posturetech spring system with edge guard on this model. Come on Mr Sealy: you shouldn’t be manufacturing bog standard mattresses like this! It wasn’t a Sealy Double Backcare Elite with 2 free drawers. Now that bed is a Sealy.
And what would Mary Portas say about the staff? I was wearing a kilt and a tartan bonnet with fake red hair to blend in. But no hello, no eye contact, no conversation at all? Am I that scary? Paul Simon did have loads of staff looking busy. It was 9 45am and really customers ought not to be bothering people at that time in the morning.
Sleepmasters was much more serene and a lovely girl did come up and talk. She had been with the Company for 7 years and was very pleasant. She recognised immediately I was from the trade and refused to tell me her best selling bed, even when I had her head stuffed in a drawer and threatened to close it (I didn’t really).
I was impressed with Sleepmasters. It was a lovely shop, but Beaumont Beds was for me the best. Why? Well I did only look in the front window after my long lunch. A Silentnight single 2 drawer divan for £199. The double for £299. And highly specified. Very similar I’d say to our Limited Edition Silentnight single divan.
I am a sucker for value for money. And here is the pause for thought. On the retail park I saw under specified beds at over inflated prices. And on the High Street at Beaumont Beds I saw well constructed product at great value. And yet the independent bed retailer on that proverbial high street appears to be losing out. Has the retail world gone mad?
Retail obsessed? Me and Mary Portas. She is a year younger, otherwise we could be twins. Think I may have to write to her.