AN independent furniture retailer is celebrating the first birthday of its Black Country showroom in style, after posting its best ever year.

Furniture For The Home, which was set up as an online business in 2011 by Gornal entrepreneur Simon Foster, has seen sales soar to £1.15m in the past 12 months after it decided to launch its first ever store – investing £75,000 into transforming the iconic County Wallpapers building outside Sedgley.

The company’s ability to source high quality living room and bedroom furniture at the best possible prices has seen it become a major hit with shoppers keen to tap into popular brands and personal service without having to visit major town and city centres.

Five new jobs have already been created to help cope with the expansion, with the possibility of more to follow as the firm introduces even more products to its range.

Simon Foster, managing director at Furniture For The Home, said: “There has been a lot of talk recently about the High Street being a thing of the past, but we’re disproving that theory by demonstrating you can be successful both online and in store.

“Over the last seven years we’ve built up strong partnerships with our suppliers and can sell the products in our showroom at the same price as we can on the website.

"The difference is some consumers want to test beds, sofas and see how things look when placed in a living room environment.”

He continued: “The showroom on Dudley Road has given us the ideal opportunity to do just that. We’ve saved a famous building – once Jack Darby’s Picture House – from being turned into housing and made it into a destination venue for local people to come and discover great home and bedroom furniture and furnishings.”

Furniture For The Home works with 10 leading suppliers to provide a whole host of products for the home and bedroom, including the latest occasional chairs, Divan beds, sofas, wardrobes and cabinets.

It has recently expanded its furnishings and accessories selection, including regularly displaying a range of seasonal products, such as patio furniture, barbecues, fires and fireplaces.

Work on the building in Sedgley took six months to complete and created 4500 sqft of open plan space for 15 living/dining room settings and a dedicated bedroom department featuring products from Dura Beds, Uno Mattress and its own exclusive SlumberHaus brand.

Parking is available on site and the store is fully DDA compliant, with plans in place to create a drinks area where shoppers can relax and enjoy hot and cold drinks whilst planning their important purchases.

Ross Stephenson, operations manager, added: “The first year has surpassed our wildest expectations and has reinforced our belief that delivering great furniture at great prices with the best possible customer service works.

“We are always listening to what the consumer wants and have recently introduced a 0 per cent finance option and just started to explore the introduction of new premier brands, such as Lebus sofas and German-based bedroom furniture manufacturer Wiemann.”

He concluded: “To say thank you to everyone who has supported us in the past 12 months we are hosting a special birthday weekend (May 4-7) where there will be refreshments, spot prizes, giveaways and balloons for the children.”

Furniture For The Home, which also operates an 8,000 sq ft warehouse in the Black Country, expects to grow sales across its showroom and online operation, with plans in place to launch a new website in the next two months and expand the business to £1.5m by 2020.