furnitureVillageStoreExt2015Furniture Village founder and CEO Peter Harrison says it will trade up as it implements its expansion strategy over the next five years.

The privately owned 40-plus store retailer is to roll out a store expansion programme over the next half decade with the launch of four to five new stores per year.

This follows investment in its existing estate in recent months which has included new signage, re-carpeting stores and upgrading facilities such as the installation of high-class toilets and coffee bars.

Furniture Village attracted a £6m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) last summer, and has since gone on to strengthen its management team.

Jon Simon joined the Furniture Village board as part of the BGF investment, while Stephen McPartland MP and Greg Suthern have joined in the early months of 2015.

Mr McPartland took a non-executive post and — in addition to his MP duties — chairs The Furniture Ombudsman and the All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Group.

Mr Suthern was appointed to the newly-created role of chief operating officer, having most recently been CEO at Octaspring and Dormeo owner Studio Moderna, and holding senior executive posts at national retailers DFS and Dreams prior to that.

The appointments will free up director of buying Malcolm Walker to devote more time leading the product strategy and his buying team, Mr Harrison told the Furnishing Report.

“We’ve strengthened the management team and that will allow Malcolm to take a step back from main board corporate issues in order to drive forward our plan to trade up and increase average order values,” he said.

“We believe we can grow our store footprint and trade up as part of the same process, and we will prove that in the years ahead. It is time for us to get serious,” Mr Harrison added.