Fairway Furniture, the largest independent furniture retail business in the South West, unveils its new look store following a substantial investment in a £600k refurbishment programme of its 1980’s store in Newton Abbot.
The family-owned company with a turnover of more than £10 million used local contractors for the project including design by Brixham-based Pinnacle Architecture, and build/site management from lead contractor MPK Developments located in Exeter. The scope of works included completely recladding the external building in a new style in keeping with the surroundings at its showroom located in Kingsteignton, near Newton Abbot Racecourse, as well as improving energy efficiency by replacing all windows and doors undertaken by Totnes firm Southfield Windows.
Building works commenced just after Easter and took six months to complete with the store remaining open throughout with minimal disruption to customers and nine members of staff. The extensive refurbishment programme throughout the 24,000sqft store included interior decoration; replacing the ceiling; improved disabled access with a newly installed electric automatic customer entrance and upgraded lighting to the latest LED technology as well as replacing existing boilers with new energy efficient units.
Peter Harding, Managing Director of Fairway Furniture is the 6th generation of the family-owned business established over 160 years’ ago, and his father John is Chair. In 1856 Peter’s great, great, great grandfather John Harding and his son John Harding Junior opened the first store of this growing empire in Plymouth city-centre, known as ‘J Harding & Sons’. At that time, they not only sold furniture which they themselves had produced, but were also undertakers, general brokers and timber dealers, and the company survived through two World Wars. Today it is the leading independent home furnishing retailer in the South West, with branches located in Newton Abbot, Plymouth, Tavistock and St Austell, as well as a rapidly growing on-line business.
Peter Harding – Managing Director, Fairway Furniture said: “My father John (Chair of Fairway Furniture) and my late grandparents William and Joan Harding arranged the build of the new Newton Abbot premises in late 1980. We were pioneering in being one of the first ‘out of town’ units in the area and at the time it was a state-of-the-art design. Over the years we have expanded, doubling the size of the show room and updating the interior, however externally the old building had become very dated.”
He adds: “It was very important to us as an independent business, to engage only local contractors made up of nine individual companies. They have each worked with great care and consideration to ensure our customers were able to continue enjoying their shopping experience and enabled us to keep a continuity of business throughout the six-month build.”
Local customer Christine Mansfield comments on her shopping experience at Fairway Furniture – she said: “I dealt with Dan Plumb in the Newton Abbot store and he was absolutely superb. From the moment I walked in he listened to everything I wanted, and in fact they had everything I needed at that time. The bed that I bought is easily the most comfortable I have ever owned, so not only are the products really good, but the service is outstanding.”
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