JasonTSofologyUpholstery specialist Sofaworks completed the last of its 33 store branding changes last week as it transitions to its new Sofology name.

The privately owned retailer confirmed it would change its name last year as a result of its IP dispute with the DFS-owned Sofa Workshop business.

CEO Jason Tyldesley told The Furnishing Report the legal conversion of the brand name had been completed in the past few days and that the changes “had been really smooth” overall.

He said: “We had to do a lot of transition work at Christmas with the advertising. We put a lot of effort over the past three months making sure the two names [Sofaworks and Sofology] were synonymous, so it didn’t really matter who we were.”

He added that new fascia and store branding had already made an impact, with the final store being completed last week.

“We actually saw improved performance on every store that got the new fascia as it happened, so we’ve been pleased with it. It has gone really well.”

Mr Tyldesley said the firm grew sales by 46 per cent in 2015, aided by the impact of new stores, adding that the firm was “definitely going in the right direction.”

2014 and 2015 accounts will be filed concurrently at Companies House, with 2015 understood to be significantly stronger than the year before.

“There were growing pains in 2014,” he said.

“It was a very transitional year for us in terms of launching the new proposition, changing the commission model and changing the promotional discount model.”

He said the retailer’s sales force — at the time — had to be re-educated and repurposed for a non-commissioned oriented environment.

“That was a learning curve and challenge for the business. But we consolidated that in 2015 and it’s working very nicely for us now in terms of the way the staff get rewarded, for things such as customer service. In terms of recruitment, we are also attracting really bright people, and a lot more graduates.”

Sofology plans to open six new stores this year, building on the four opened in 2015 (see related).

RelatedSix new stores for upholstery chain Sofology in 2016