Independent retailer Queenstreet Carpets & Furnishings based in Alphington, Exeter is ‘rolling out the red carpet’ in celebration of 50 years in business!
Malcom Dixie and his wife Nikki, started the original company in 1967 selling rolls of carpet, from the back of an old bread van which cost just 60. The pioneering couple were so successful that it wasn’t long before they opened one of the first fitted carpet shops, a new trend in the late ’60’s, in the heart of the city. Today Nikki is still carrying on the family tradition working with her two sons, Mark and Gary Dixie together with daughter-in-law Heather, and the business expanded two years ago with the opening of its new shop ‘CASA’, at The Old Gaol on The Strand, Topsham.
Malcolm, a former carpet rep in London, sold their house and relocated to Exeter with his wife and baby son Mark, initially living with Nikki’s parents. Because of his established carpet retail experience and wholesale contacts, Malcolm had access to a large number of stock samples and, as a result, could sell cheaper carpets than his competitors and offer more choice. Their first shop, The Carpet Bargain Centre, was situated where WH Smith now resides and before the Guildhall Faade was built in Queen Street. In less than a year the business saw rapid growth and expanded with a young sales team and carpet fitters. The business went from strength to strength and soon outgrew its premises and they moved the business across the road and created Queenstreet Carpets, in the building where Toni & Guy hairdressers are currently based.
In 1973, they formed a limited company and opened Dixieland Mills in Alphington, initially as a storage warehouse, and then as an additional retail outlet. The main shop is still located there today covering an impressive c.12k sq.ft, selling carpets, sofas, furniture and beds.
Gary Dixie – Director Queenstreet Carpets & Furnishings said: “We are delighted to be celebrating 50 years in Exeter and proud to be continuing the family-run business started by our parents Malcolm & Nikki Dixie in the late 1960’s. With half a century trading in the city we pride ourselves on offering a high level of knowledge and excellent service with an experienced team. We are very fortunate to have a loyal following from long-term customers who have bought from Queenstreet over the decades and recommended us to their children and grandchildren.”
He adds: “It’s important, however, to constantly reinvent the business and update the services and range of brands we offer. We’re moving into an exciting new era, and now also sell on-line, delivering across the UK each month. We also expanded two years ago with the opening of CASA, our newest shop located next to the historic Quay in Topsham. In addition, we have made a substantial investment and are currently undergoing a major refurbishment in our showroom at our Alphington store.”