Shropshire's Alan Ward celebrates 43rd anniversary

It started from humble beginnings as a small carpet shop opened up in Shropshire’s county town with the help of a £500 loan.

Now 43 years on Alan Ward is one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the country employing more than 100 members of staff across its four stores across the UK, including more than 80 at the flagship store, warehouse and distribution depot in Shropshire.

Staff and directors at the Ennerdale Road, Shrewsbury showroom are celebrating the anniversary this month (OCT) with a special birthday sale with every single item reduced across the store.

Elaine Ray, senior director for Alan Ward, said: “When Alan and Joan Hopkins opened their first store in Golden Cross Passage, Shrewsbury they had big ambitions for the business.

“To look at the phenomenal department store we have in Shrewsbury today with the leading designer furniture and brands - they have certainly fulfilled those ambitions.

“We have remained loyal as exclusive stockists of iconic brands like

G Plan, Ercol, and Duresta but have ensured we have moved with the trends and also attracted new brands to the store like Stressless, Tempur and Neptune. Many of the ranges we stock can only otherwise be found in big cities.

“The store is currently reflecting some of the best trends we’ve seen in a long time.  Flick through any glossy home interest magazine today and you will see examples of the trends currently in-store.”

Miss Ray said the success of the business was due to its ability to move with the times, diversifying into new products like outdoor furniture and accessories and bringing in new ranges to compliment the changing lifestyles and tastes of customers.

“We may have started out as a furniture, carpet and bed store 43 years ago but we have now evolved into one of the biggest furniture department stores in the country which can literally offer everything anybody would want for their home and so much more.

“Along with kitchens by Wilson Fink, a Hammonds Fitted Furniture concession and a specialist home office department by Chrisbeon, plus our own new departments boasting accessories, lighting, cookware, clocks, mirrors, pictures and fine art, we are continuing to attract new customers every week.

“We have recently launched a new wedding list service is very exciting and brides and grooms can spend many happy hours in store selecting their gifts from the departments,” Miss Ray said.

The Alan Ward business outgrew its home in Golden Cross Passage and moved in 1987 to Ennerdale Road in Harlescott where it remains today.

Since then three more stores in Chester, Newcastle-Under-Lyme and Winsford, have opened their doors to the public.

“The staff and their relationships with our customers are at the heart of our business and that is the key to our 43 year success.

“People are proud to buy local and as long as we continue to offer exciting new trends alongside classic designs we hope customers will continue to make Alan Ward their destination for home furnishings for the next 43 years,” Miss Ray said.

“Business continues to be on the up for Alan Ward and I am sure the staff will be celebrating the anniversary with well-deserved cake and champagne.”

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