Trade Secret

PUBLISHED: 12:13 19 November 2010 | UPDATED: 16:37 20 February 2013

Trade Secret

Trade Secret

Charles Wheeler sells branded high street furniture for half the catalogue price from his no frills showroom near Banbury.

A Warwickshire Life advertisement feature

What is the nature of your business?
We retail branded high street furniture from the likes of Laura Ashley, House of Fraser and two other upmarket high street and houseware retailers, who for contractual reasons cannot be named. We operate from basic premises, with no frills (no heating!) where all of our branded product is exactly half the catalogue price.

When did you start your business?
I started this business in a small shop in Banbury some eight years ago

What marks your company out from the competition?
Quality, Value and Availability. Quality product from the main high street stores. Value half price branded product every day. Availability bring a van if you can. all branded products are available to go immediately

How have you coped with the challenges of 2009?
Our business is closely linked to the property market which understandably has led to very difficult trading conditions. Perhaps frustratingly, as a result of the current climate, the availability of quality furniture has been possibly at its highest.
We have risen to this challenge by having Special Sale Events where we bettered our half price even further.

What has been your greatest business challenge?
We are not allowed to use all of the principal brand names in our marketing so it is a challenge to let the public know what we do without transgressing contractual obligation. Hence we rely a lot on word of mouth referrals which come from supplying quality product and related value and service.

And your greatest business success?
Continuing to grow our market in difficult business circumstances.

What advice would you give to a new business?
In terms of a retail business, finding product and price is less than half the challenge.
Getting feet through the door (customers) is critical and for anybody starting out, never underestimate the power of word of mouth referral.

What are your business plans for 2010?
We are seriously looking at clearing branded product offshore. This is appealing to the high street stores as would lead to less stock being sold, and ultimately devaluing their brand on home soil. However, a local clearance option will always be apparent and available

Charles Wheeler
Trade Secret
Unit 6 Twyford Mill, Oxford Road, Adderbury, OX17 3SX
Tel: 01295 810110
info@trade-secret.co.uk
www.trade-secret.co.uk
www.trade-secret.co.uk/catalogue
www.trade-secret-auction.co.uk

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