Are These Two Sleeping on the Job?12.12.2008
With 60 years’ experience between them there was never any doubt that Gullands’ clients, Neal Thomas and David Cheeseman would succeed in the bed industry.
Neal had run Allders in Croydon and David had been in a similar position with the department store at Lakeside, so both had good jobs and the future looked bright. That was until the firm went under.
“In a way that was good news for us,” said Neal, “because it forced us into doing what we had both talked about for so long – starting our own business.”
They opened the first branch of The County Bed Company in Strood High Street two years ago, and recently launched their second branch in a refurbished pub in Waterloo Road, Tonbridge.
Going great guns
“We were well ahead of our business plan after a year at Strood and this gave us confidence, although we have to admit that there has been a recent downturn due to the economy,” said David. “But we are still confident, and our new store at Tonbridge, where there is little competition, is going great guns, more than offsetting any downturn at Strood.”
Gullands’ partner, Paul Burbidge was there when The County Bed Company was launched and he was there again to handle the legalities of the negotiations to open the second branch.
“We were fortunate to have Paul,” said Neal. “He is so easy to talk to, and is always there to answer questions. I can’t remember an occasion when he wasn’t available when we needed him. “It was important two years ago, and again more recently, for us to have good, solid advice at a reasonable price and that is what Paul and Gullands offered.”
The duo have found that their marketing ploy of offering free delivery and free disposal has been a winner.
“It is important for people making an important purchase not to pay through the nose for delivery. We absorb the costs of that as we think it is only fair,” said David. At The County Bed Company you can buy a bed for as little as £99 (although neither Neal nor David would recommend it) or one in excess of £4,000. At Strood they have more than 100 beds in stock, some for immediate delivery.
We all know how important it is to have a decent bed and David and Neal make sure their customers try the ones on offer for as long as possible.
“You can usually know within 10 or 20 minutes, and as you spend a third of your life in bed, if that third is uncomfortable, then the other two thirds of your life are going to cause you problems too,” said Neal.
Come and try one “Each night some people change position in bed about 100 times, which means that
they are not comfortable.” In their opinion the top beds on the market now are those with memory foam
and pocket springs.
“Come and try one,” said Neal, “after all you wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes or a new
car without trying them for size, would you?”
You can contact The County Bed Company at Strood on: 01634 722228 or at Tonbridge on: 01732 770445.
There’s an extra 10% discount for Gullands’ staff and clients until the end of January