The Sussex Beds team with their National Bed Retailer of the year award

Member Article

Amazing success story of company close to collapse

There are few corporate stories more staggering than that of Sussex Beds. The high street business was, just two years ago, in grave danger of total collapse. The financial crash combined with growing online purchases mounted to years of poor trading and substantial losses.

The 35 year old family run business was on its knees and in 2014 went into liquidation.

“It was a dark time”, says MD of Sussex Beds, Steve Pickering. “My parents set up the business in 1981 and I’ve been working for the company since I was a teenager. To face losing everything – not to mention having to lay off my 36 fantastic staff – was horrendous.”

Refusing to give in, Steve decided to take drastic measures to save the flagging business.

“We completely restructured and introduced new branding and management systems. It was far removed from anything we’d ever done in the past but I felt we had nothing to lose.”

It may have been a last ditch attempt, but it worked and as a result the company experienced soaring footfall and profits to match. Sussex Beds is now planning an ambitious expansion programme for 2017.

The unprecedented turnaround of Sussex Beds was recognised last month as they scooped the National Bed Retailer of the Year Award.

“After all the difficulties the company had faced I couldn’t believe we’d won”, says Steve. “We were entirely honest in our entry about being near to closure but the judges said the efforts we’d put in to transform the business had contributed to us being chosen.

“Winning the award was a very emotional time for all of us, who’ve worked tirelessly to turn the business around to the success it is toda

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lucy Clapham .

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