Secret Linen Store

Member Article

Feather & Black founder sets up two new on-line companies

Adam Black, the Yorkshire entrepreneur and ex-founder and managing director of bedroom furniture retailer Feather and Black, has launched two new on-line companies.

They are bed linen retailer Secret Linen Store and bed and mattress company Button and Sprung.

Yorkshire-born Black left Feather and Black in March 2013 and immediately began to talk to private equity companies about possible business ventures

“It became apparent that I knew more about this sector than anyone else,” he said. “For me to decide to do something completely different would have been like Wayne Rooney leaving Manchester United and becoming a golfer.”

Black, 46, is part of the well-known Black family in Yorkshire. Keighley-based Peter Black Holdings, which was founded by and named after his grandfather in the 1940s, became one of the UK’s largest suppliers of shoes, handbags and gift packs to Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Next.

In November 2013, Black teamed up with investors including ex-Asos international director Jon Kamaluddi and Asos’s former head of IT strategy Martin Strotton to launch Secret Linen Store.

Secret Linen Store dispatches straight to the consumer from its supplier in Portugal, meaning it can offer products at up to half the price of rivals.

“We have no rent and no storage costs so our fixed cost base is really low,” Black said.

Secret Linen Store was set up ‘in the Yorkshire way’, he said, with an investment of £50,000. It is expected to make a £150,000 turnover in its first year.

But although Black has a stake in the company, his day job is running a new bed and mattress business, Button and Sprung.

He teamed up with Matthew Hardcastle, formerly of eBay and Shop Direct, to create a niche player in the market with a website and one showroom.

“My belief is that the alternative to Amazon and Ebay is the guy who is the very best at what he does,” Black said. “I saw an opportunity to create a very focused bed and mattress company.”

Its pocket-sprung mattresses are made by Leeds-based manufacturer Harrison Spinks. Most of its upholstery is manufactured in Poland.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Robert Beaumont .

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