More than a furnishings store

Dining Out

Words by:
Caroline Bingham
Featured in:
March 2015

Andrew Squires is celebrating a milestone in his family business this year.
2015 marks the 20th anniversary since his ambitions for a more expansive furnishings store tempted him to set out on his own and move into his shop’s landmark location in Sutton on Sea.

“Our location is the last shop before the beach and used to be the Toy and Beach Centre,” explained Andrew. “When it became available I knew it was an ideal, unique location in the village.”

The Squire Furnishings frontage occupies a whole block of the village High Street, itself still busy with many other independently owned shops. “My philosophy has always been that if you don’t stock it you can’t sell it,” continued Andrew and the busy layout of the shop is testament to Andrew’s retailing eye. With the help of his right hand man, Gary Mills, the last year’s trading has been busier than ever.

Andrew’s parents were in the carpet trade so he took that experience and as well as offering floorings he added upholstery, beds, furniture, soft furnishings and accessories.

“Above all I have always invested in quality. I have sought out the best small manufacturers who share the same approach to service and customer care as myself. It is a great partnership that delivers for my customers.

“There is also an added incentive with the next generation of the Squires family, my two-year-old son Sebastian, starting to be aware of the shop. I thought it would be fun to have his picture taken with my wife, Patrycja, in the same shopfront location as myself twenty years ago.”

The flooring department, SOS Flooring, offers a great choice by Lifestyle Floors, including: carpet, vinyl, laminate, solid wood and luxury vinyl tiles. Andrew offers the complete service, including a free measuring and estimating service, expert fitting by Bob Harris and even a take-up, disposal and furniture moving service which takes the strain away for less able or busy customers.

The recliner centre has chairs and suites ready for immediate delivery or for bespoke order.

“I have worked with Sherbourne for all of my retail career,” Andrew continued. “Their versatility, build quality, comfort and value cannot be beaten.”

Available in a choice of three chair sizes, all with tilt and lift options and as suites, this high backed and compact furniture is universally popular. Other UK names include Yeoman, The Cotswold Chair Company and Royams, all with a similar philosophy who are equal favourites for residential properties or caravan dwellings alike. The Royams Donna Duo recliner is a particular star, which won the Which? Best Buy award 2014.

The Himolla brand of German manufactured leather chairs and suites have built in recliner options including the Zero Stress range, which gives maximum comfort as well as superb design.

To complete the living room setting there are four ranges of cabinet furniture, all with contemporary softer edge styling and light wood finishes.

Beds and mattresses have been a speciality for Andrew, with demand from his customers for not only comfort but also bespoke options in sizing and style.

“To be able to work with a British manufacturer who can deliver to all these specifications is fantastic. The website is a real showcase for this type of custom product. We can supply pocket sprung or foam options in three-inch multiple widths or lengths and to specific shapes such as cut off corners, which are especially in demand for caravans. There is no need to compromise on comfort or value.”

There are examples of up to ten colours on lift-up Ottoman bases as well as Sweet Dreams sofa beds for extra sleeping options.

Harrison Brothers bedroom furniture is all English made in a choice of foil, painted or oak finishes. All fully assembled, you pick your style, colour and handles to tailor your look. A new pine range is proving popular again for this year.

Mindful of both his regular and seasonal shoppers, Andrew has an eye for giftware and accessories which reflect his beach side location.

He said: “My hobby is photography and on the walls are some of my own prints which reflect the Lincolnshire coastline and its features.”

Alongside atmospheric images of beach huts and breakwaters are nautical themed cushions, giftware, plaques and ornaments.

“We really can furnish a whole home including curtains and blinds, pictures, wall clocks, lighting and mirrors,” Andrew concluded. “What I have enjoyed most for the past twenty years is getting to know my customers and the satisfaction of providing quality products and outstanding family service.”

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