Thursday, 5 March 2009

In praise of small business

For a change I thought I'd tell you about a good experience I had with a small business which, although not in Worcester Park, is reasonably local.

This is not our bed, or our bedroom!We had to buy a bed recently and because the clock was ticking on that particular part of our redecoration project we had to have it in two weeks and it had to be a different length to the average bed. We haven't bought a bed for at least ten years and I had forgotten what a miserable experience it could be. We tried every bed shop we could find (scrupulously avoiding Dreams, who I've heard bad things about from so many people) casting the net further and further afield but they either didn't have what we wanted or didn't have it in the size we wanted, or if they did they couldn't get it for 6-8 weeks. Gloom was setting in when I stumbled across the website for a company by the name of Warren Evans under Clapham Junction station who were advertising the kind of thing we were looking for so one Saturday morning, more in hope than in expectation, I took Miss Brinkster to take a look.

The shop itself was tucked away in a couple of railway arches of the station and at first glance it was very imposing with an array of very cool looking beds throughout and didn't look at all like the kind of seedy bed showroom/warehouse I'd been in before, so the style box was ticked from the start. I knew from the website that they had a long list of celebrities who'd ordered from there, but did they have the size we wanted for delivery in time? First signs weren't too encouraging. All of the beds in the store were standard sizes and it was at that point that a very helpful assistant asked me if he could help (but not in a way that made me want to beat him to death with his own leg). I explained to him our desire to have the length adjusted;
"No problem. We can adjust the length of the bed and the mattress in 3 inch increments", 3 inches being the size of the mattress springs, and that it would be stained to the desired colour to match the other bedroom furniture.

It sounded too good to be true so I asked him how long that would take;
"We could have it to you by Thursday" he replied.
My jaw hit the floor.
"That's actually TOO soon" I said, "But we'd like it a week on Friday" (between the carpet being laid and the other furniture arriving).

A matter of minutes later I almost literally skipped from the store with the not-too-painfully-numbered receipt for an adjusted super-king size bed and mattress in my pocket and my pleasure only increased when the delivery men arrived on time with everything required and put it all together for us in a matter of minutes.

Other things you might want to know is that they're the only bed maker in the UK to be FSC certified, meaning that all wooden products are made from sustainable resources, and that they have a no-quibble return policy. They were also honoured in last year's Observer Ethical Awards, the Sunday Times Best Green Companies Award and BCE Awards.

If you have a need for an customised bed for any reason, or just want to see the beds some celebrities buy then I can thoroughly recommend Warren Evans to you.

Apologies if this sounds uncharacteristically 'gushing'. Normal service will be resumed shortly.


Michael said...

We have a bed on order from the be shop up the high street (due in a couple of weeks).
After the mrs had decided which one we wanted the sales guy knocked loads off and said he would price match any other supplier including web sites so we did just that and got it for nearly half the original price, delivery free and old bed will be disposed. Not quite as quick as your experience (five weeks order time) but at least we stayed local!

I see the betty boop shop is on its way too now :(

The Brinkster said...

Let me know how you get on with delivery and stuff as that seems to be where places like Dreams have had their problems from what I've heard (bits missing, wrong bits arriving, etc).

I would have liked to have bought a bed from somewhere in Worcester Park but with our time constraint (i.e. us not being organised in time) it wasn't to be :(

Chops seniour said...

I thoroughly agree about Warren Evans. From the choice of beds, matresses and furniture to the sales service; it is excellent.
For a small fee, they will be moving all our W.Evans bedroom furniture to our new house so no removal van required either!!

Michael said...

Our ordered bed arrived right on time last weekend, assembled and old bed disposed of for what turned out to be less then the best price we could find anywhere including the web.
So I can highly recommend our local Worcester Park bed shop.

The Brinkster said...

That's a result!! Thanks for the update.