They keep up with change in 90 years
Being surrounded by the latest trends in beds, mattresses and pillows day in and day out could make a person very sleepy.
But not Scott or Louise — it’s the very stuff which keeps them wide awake.
Scott Taylor is the owner/manager of Taylor’s Furniture Beds R Us Napier, the role handed down from his dad David Taylor — and his father before him. David ran the shop with partner Dave Burn, who had worked in the business and pushed David under a table during the 1931 earthquake. David stayed working in the store until his death two years ago at 88. When David began slowing down, Scott approached sister Louise Laurent to join the business.
Taylor’s Furniture turns 90 this month and Scott says plenty has changed over the decades since his and Louise’s grandparents Syd and Rita opened the original store in Emerson St in 1928.
“In the old days, everything was for the household — especially after the earthquake. There was a staff of 14 and they sold carpets, curtains, rugs and cushions, furniture and beds — general household furniture and furnishings.”
David Taylor purchased 142 Dickens St in 1969 and Scott bought his dad’s share of the trading business within five years of coming into the business in 1983.
“Other furnishings were dropped from the business before the move to Dickens St — Dad didn’t want to run a big staff level.”
Taylor’s Furniture became a founding member of Beds R Us nearly 30 years ago, which Scott says changed things hugely.
“We were approached by Sleepyhead to belong to the group Beds R Us — we’d been selling Sleepyhead for 55 years by then. The idea was they wanted retailers to support Sleepyhead beds only.”
Scott says this was part of the way they drove the business into mainly selling bedding.
“It gave us more marketing and buying power — and good exposure.”
Scott says with Sleepyhead having more than 80 per cent market recall, it makes it a lot easier for them to market. He believes it’s a trusted brand.
“They keep reinvesting into the business and keep up with technology. We have to change all the time and keep up with the play. We have to compete with imports and are now cracking the cheaper end market with our price drops.”
Scott says they run a lot of mix and match pieces to cater for different room sizes and individual needs. And these days, the mattress has replaced the base in order of importance.
“In the old days we had sprung bases — now the base is just a platform — the mattress does all the work. It’s all about finding the right bed for the customer — we love the challenge every day.”
Scott and Louise acknowledge the loyalty of several generations of customers over their 90 years in business.
“It couldn’t have happened without you.”
‘We have to change all the time and keep up ’ with the play. SCOTT TAYLOR
Taylor’s Furniture Beds R Us, Napier, owners Louise Laurent and Scott Taylor, with a photograph of a Taylor’s Furniture sign on Tin Town in Clive Square, Napier, taken just after the 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake.