Furniture News explores the practices and philosophies behind Love Sofas, in a discussion with MD Christine Prashad …
Love Sofas is a family-run business based in Huddersfield which offers a wide range of contemporary and designer furniture that can be delivered anywhere in the UK.
Launched in 2010, Love Sofas has been identified as the UK’s largest sofa website by the Advertising Standards Authority. It has a large number of different designs which come in various colours and combinations.
Love Sofas has doubled its turnover every year since its establishment and sells over 30,000 sofas a year.
Why visit your website? Our company offers value for money on a wide range of sofas to suit every budget. We offer a very quick turnaround on orders as the majority of our stock is available for immediate delivery.
How did you enter the trade? I have enjoyed working with the public in the past and felt I could bring my experience into online retailing. In addition to this, I have an interest in style and design and felt that the furniture industry would be a challenging and enjoyable sector for me.
Describe a typical working day … There is no such thing as a typical day and I would be thoroughly bored if there was! With over 20 employees, I am always called upon to give advice and like to visit all departments every day to keep abreast of developments and to assist with any problems and also to ensure that our staff are giving our customers 100% of their attention.
“... although the distance selling regulations legislation gives customers a certain amount of control and security, there is still a reluctance from a percentage of customers to buy unseen”
Regular duties include arranging foreign currency deals, sending international payments, accountancy, salaries and HR duties.
What is the one part of your job you’d prefer to avoid? Accountancy – this should be left to the boring men in suits!
What has been your greatest single challenge to date? Getting the name Love Sofas recognised as a good company to deal with by offering the very best value for money sofas in the UK coupled with exceptional customer service.
How much do you invest in making your site more visible? We have a marketing department of four and we are constantly experimenting in new and different ways to drive the customers to our ecommerce platforms.
What’s your take on how the relationship between online and physical retail might develop? We feel that there is a significant amount of customers who would prefer to see what they are buying and although the distance selling regulations legislation gives customers a certain amount of control and security, there is still a reluctance from a percentage of customers to buy unseen.
Our online advertising generates a steady footfall of customers visiting our showroom, so we understand that there is a correlation between online retail and physical retail.
What are your growth plans for the business? Year on year we are currently running at an increase in turnover of 70%. Given the new marketing strategies we are working on and our future plans, we are forecasting another 50% growth this year.
What advice would you offer an aspiring e-tailer? Know your customer profile and deliver what they want.