They keep up with change in 90 years

Napier Courier - - News - BY BRENDA VOWDEN brenda.vowden@nzme.co.nz

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

PHOTO: DUN­CAN BROWN

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.

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