January 22nd, 2009
After a gruelling 4 days trailing up and down the aisles of that souless shed called the NEC what can I say?
Silentnight and Sealy Beds were missing as were many other beds and bedroom exhibitors. Many brave faces, but gone were the young hopeful furniture companies looking to secure a big account or naive furniture buyers looking to find a winning product. Its been a tough year for the young kids on the block.
But business goes on and there were a few true gems to be found. We found importers who were over stocked and need the cash – we bought a couple of distress products that I know will be superb bargains.
Kaymed Beds didn’t disappoint. Millbrook, a south of England company, gave an impressive demonstration of what us Scottish folks were missing. And the bedroom furniture people have all been taking drugs and are showing glitzy mirrored surface furniture. Most at ridiculously over inflated prices.
The Scottish furniture show is on next week. And at the finish of that show we will decide what to buy. So the show being at Ingleston in Edinburgh, we are sending over 20 staff to have a look. Our buyer is pretty certain he knows what to buy. But lets see what our sales consultants, mere mortals that they are, have to say.
Its Robert Burns 250th anniversary this year so I’m sure the Scottish Furniture Associations annual dinner on Monday is going to be a belter. I’ll be having an early night as always.
January 8th, 2009
2009 has started with Archers Uddingston, Ayr and Kilmarnock bed shops walking on water. All three stores are way above last years figures and showing no signs of weakness. They are selling across the board from single mattresses to master bedroom furniture sets. Uddingston in particular, with many bed retailers trading on the same Birkenshaw retail park, demonstrates the strength of our offers. Today, a lady looking for the cheapest double bed she could get, trawled round every store on the estate and came back to Archers. She bought the Sleepcomfort 4 drawer double divan and its not even on any special offer!
Of course last years top dogs – East Kilbride and Great Western Road, Glasgow – have had enormous figures to match and so the fact that they are struggling to hit target this January sale is not such a tragedy. They will have easier targets next year!
January 8th, 2009
Now into the second week of the sale the results are coming through for the big bed sale successes. Top seller has to be the Mayfair 1200 pocket double mattress at £199. Close second is the Caesar memory foam double divan at £299.
We expected the Silentnight Contour Memory Double divan at £399 to be a run away winner but it hasn’t been. Its been good but not nearly as good as last year – we promoted it as a king size at £399 last year. Just shows you that what appears an absolute steal to us doesn’t necessarily appear so to the public!
And Sealy has had an amazing success with their Romance king size divan. Annoyingly it was on promotion in November and December so we didn’t feel we could advertise it as a sale line in January. No matter. It was a bargain in November and its still a bargain now! And the public think so too.
We have only 10 days to go now and then its back to more normal margins. Has the Big Bed Sale been a success? Definitely yes – but I’m holding my breath as to what happens when the sale ends.
December 22nd, 2008
We are on holiday Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And then again on New Years Day. We apologise for any inconvenience to our customers. Hope you all have a great time over the festive period and remember to get a great night’s sleep on an Archers bed. Hundreds of Beds, Hundreds of Bargains – at Archers Sleepcentre!
December 22nd, 2008
Archers Big Bed Sale is now on. See our current press advert for the best deals – a double leather bed at £149 for example. We have done bulk deals with Silentnight and Sealy and our warehouses are bulging at the seams. The Silentnight Keswick single divan bed at £199 is a particular bed bargain.
Alot of the offers are constrained by the bulk purchases. The good news is that although the current offers will only last for a week or two, we have organised a second tranche of products for mid January. Watch this space for some new deals then.
December 15th, 2008
One of the first rules of graphic design is don’t let your local sign writer design your logos and signs. Let me add a second rule. Keep it simple!
We are now on phase 2 of our corporate makeover. Or is it phase 3? Yes, I should have observed rules 1 and 2 some time ago. But we are getting there. Our Cumbernauld bed store signs are being replaced tomorrow and the Kilmarnock store the day after. With luck there will be no streaky flexi-faces and the vinyl colours will all match.
Only East Kilbride and Edinburgh to go. We have particularly fancy plans for them so I have kept them to last. Wait until you see the size of the Silentnight hippo we have planned for Seafield.
December 15th, 2008
Julian Bowen offered us a preview of his latest beds and bedroom furniture prior to the annual Birmingham furniture show.
Each year Julian’s collection gets stronger and more diverse. He can only show a small proportion of what he offers at the NEC so every so often we are obliged to visit him. On this visit the most striking message was that white beds and bedroom furniture are becoming more and more popular. Huge successes are his Barcelona bed frame in white, and his Colorado bunk bed.
Over the last 5 years there has been a massive shift from pine beds to hardwoods, particularly oak beds and bedroom furniture. It suddenly struck home that maybe white beds and perhaps painted furniture are becoming an alternative. I remember well some 10 years ago saying to a colleague if I ever suggest buying painted furniture ever again, take me out and shoot me. In case they remember, I’m not going to suggest it OK?
December 6th, 2008
For some time now, we have advertised our beds and mattresses in the Glasgow Herald Saturday magazine. We always get the outside back cover, its a glossy print and we treat the bed advert a bit like a leaflet drop. The quality of the copy is so much higher than normal newsprint…. I like it for sure.
We have now struck a deal to advertise 2 Fridays per month in the main Glasgow Herald paper. These will be small 15×3 teaser ads that will just show one bed product. It has been hard work to get sensible locations and sensible prices but at last the Herald has agreed a deal.
Note that we show our latest press advert in our current press advert web page.
December 6th, 2008
The Julian Bowen Cordoba Sleigh Bed was our best selling sleigh bed and it was a huge frustration when we lost supply. At £199 this bed was superb value. We still have The Pacino sleigh bed, and though it is a much bigger and more detailed sleigh bed, it can’t beat the price of the Cordoba.
Anyhow the Cordoba sleigh is coming back, but not in a dark teak but in white. We have still to finalise the price – it will be more expensive partly because of the painted white finish but also because its another dollar imported product. One great advantage is that we will have matching furniture – The Cameo white bedroom furniture.
Robert Hunter and I are off to Mansfield to visit Julian Bowen this week. Julian has invited us to see all his new products prior to the Birmingham NEC January show. We will see the new Cordoba of course. And while we are there we will pin Julian up against a wall and try and empty his pockets. He doesn’t know that yet by the way.
November 29th, 2008
At our last Kaymed factory visit we were introduced to a new range of gel beds. This gel has been trialed by other manufacturers, eg Silentnight, but no-one as yet has got it right. Kaymed, may have just cracked it.
Visco elastic memory foam is of course what Kaymed is known for. And the parallels are uncanny. Visco was a material that took along time to be set up in the correct way to make a successful sleeping surface. It took innovation and patience and alot of expertise. Those are qualities Kaymed have in abundance.
Gel looks to offer the same challenges and if anyone is up to the task its Kaymed. The material has all the right qualities and its exciting to lie on a bed that could be the next breakthrough in bed technology. Fingers crossed. Go for it Kaymed.
Our factory visit was fascinating by the way. These people are master craftsmen and technicians. The attention to detail to get the visco mix just write is incredible. Its an art as much as a science and I came away happy to recommend Kaymed visco over any other in the market place today.