Stripes sweep the county as Shropshire's furniture department store sees home service boom..

Staff at a Shropshire furniture store today revealed a boom in the demand for its choose-at-home service as families become busier than ever before.

The service where specially trained staff from Shrewsbury’s Alan Ward visit the customer’s home to measure and offer a selection of carpets and flooring was traditionally set up for people who could not travel to the store including elderly and disabled.

But Marc Beckett, flooring sales manager at the Ennerdale Road store in Harlescott said it was now predominantly used by busy individuals and couples as well as families with children.

“An increasing number of people are self employed, running their own businesses or are employed and working longer hours than ever and so find this service helpful and convenient. Families with children have more commitments than ever so we are often visiting them at a specific time slot when it won’t disrupt the whole family.

“By finding out about the customer’s needs first through a telephone conversation we are able to scale down the selection for them first - the huge number of samples in store can often be overwhelming for some people,” he said.

“We find out about the customer’s lifestyle and about the look they want to achieve and then take a range of samples out for the customer to have a look at. “Stainfree carpets are our recommendation for families as they are very hardwearing and are bleach-cleanable which makes them the ideal choice.”

Mr Beckett said added: “We have had comments from parents with young children about the lack of stress when they are choosing in their own home as they find they are unable to concentrate when the children are in store with them.

“Similarly busy executives don’t have time to come into the store during work hours so we can fit around them and offer a time that is convenient to the customer.

“The choose at home service is completely free so it has become increasingly popular.”

Mr Beckett said customers who enjoyed the home service had then booked the full personal shopper service for the interiors which includes help with choosing new sofa groups, soft furnishings, curtains and wallpapers from within their own home.

And Mr Beckett said the flooring department had recently noticed a trend for striped carpet on the stairs, hallway and landings.

“The trend has swept through the country - particularly on the stairs. I think show homes across the country are showing off the trend and then customers are following suit which is great. We have seen a lot of orders going through for striped carpet.

“There’s some wonderful vibrant colours and variations in striped carpets out now - which has rapidly taken over the period of plain carpets again.

“Some people would never go for it but when they see the carpet sample on their actual staircase it’s a different story.”

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Pete White Pete White

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