On the morning of Friday 9th January 2015, our MD Steve Mosley glanced at the security monitors above his computer, noticing that several cameras were out of action. Immediately spotting the signs of a fire, he evacuated all staff and we watched from afar as the lower portion of our six-floor showroom – and the stock within – burned.
Fire crews finally extinguished the blaze after three and a half hours, leaving the building heavily damaged by fire, smoke and water.
The timing could not have been worse for us, the fire, sparked by an undetermined electrical fault, started just a few days before the January Furniture Show, and a few weeks before Spring Fair, both important trading platforms.
Steve responded with a typically bullish attitude, and began planning the construction of a brighter, more modern showroom that would better reflect the diversity and quality of the company’s growing product offer. “I immediately decided I’d make a positive out of a negative,” he says, “and I’ve stuck with it.”
The showroom’s development over the past six months – all planned and overseen by Steve – is a remarkable achievement. The new frontage above the door hints at the more contemporary look and the space is almost unrecognisable in its new guise. We now have a whopping 53 ranges housed across 6 floors.
On the ground, a split-level floor opens the space to the more intimate basement, the open spaces punctuated by wooden room dividers to create distinctive areas for each range.
Our titular oak offer has been widened significantly in recent years. Visitors will find everything from reclaimed, rustic, painted, industrial, vintage and shabby chic furniture, lighting and accessories to flooring, Christmas and historical memorabilia, rugs made from recycled materials and free-standing rattan hammocks.The huge range of products on offer – available through either wholesale or container channels – cover every base.
Steve takes an individualistic approach to product sourcing, so visitors should expect to encounter unique and often surprising items, from wall-mounted bicycle stands to easel-mounted blackboards and mirrors, wooden larders to vintage film cameras, numerous hall storage solutions, and much more in between. An extra revelation comes with the knowledge that Besp-Oak sell every item present – even the aforementioned room dividers, inspired by the trend for pop-up stores, which are ideal for retailers looking to present their own in-store roomsets. “Before the fire, we’d often find ourselves dressing the showroom using accessories and furnishings from nearby high street shops,” explains Steve “I realised that if customers were ever going to see us as a truly one-stop-shop, we’d need to fulfil every one of their demands ourselves, and I think we’ve managed to do that here. Everything you see, from the artwork to the flooring, we sell – I don’t want anyone going elsewhere to buy stock when they can get it all right here!”
New highlights include seats sporting UK-manufactured leathers and tartan fabrics. The real star of the show, however, is Vancouver Petite Expressions, a new oak-topped painted variant of our bestseller, available in three finishes and six fashionable colours – a palette inspired by leading kitchen brands – and offering interchangeable handles.
For more information on our fantastic new showroom, please contact us.