Upholding a level of quality
A collection of more than 1200 fabrics and leathers, a full product offer, and benchmark setting lead-times combine to make Westbridge Furniture Designs one of the elite players within the upholstery market
Published in November 2016, the 13th edition of the Upholstered Furniture and Beds Market Report – UK 2016-2020 Analysis proved to be positive reading for the industry, highlighting how market conditions have steadily improved since 2012, in line with economic growth and improved consumer confidence. In fact, the demand for upholstered furniture and beds has resulted in between three and four per cent year-on-year growth in that time.
Formed in 2004 by the Belfield Group to manufacture upholstered furniture for the UK market, Westbridge Furniture Designs is a successful and vibrant design and manufacturing business making furniture for some of the best-known major UK retailers, as well as a host of independent stores via its Elements, Westbridge, Artisan and Spirit ranges.
“Having initially occupied a single site on the Deeside Industrial Estate in Nor th Wales, we have since expanded to the point where today we operate out of four production sites, all within a ten-mile radius,” explains Westbridge Furniture Designs Operations Director, Paul Newton. “Together these sites, as well as our dedicated cut and sew factory in Romania, total more than 450,000 square feet of production, design and office space, provide employment for in excess of 1400 people and allow us to manufacture over 10,000 pieces of upholstery per week.”
The company possesses a vast and diverse range of over 1200 fabrics and leathers, which are widely sourced throughout Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, its fabric stores stock approximately 300,000 metres of cover in order to ensure the readiness needed to provide its customers with quick, on-time delivery. Westbridge Furniture Designs’ fabrics are sourced from European, Turkish and Chinese mills, while its leather comes from tanneries, predominantly located in Italy and Brazil. The uncompromised quality of all of this material is established pre-launch through an extensive and comprehensive testing process, all of which is co-ordinated by the company’s in-house technical department.
“We offer four distinct ranges of furniture to the independent market, each of which offers its own unique features and styles,” Paul continues. “Our Elements range provides a compact, fun and entry price point product, while the Westbridge range features family friendly, generous and comfortable upholstery at a superb value. Our Artisan line is an eclectic mix of beautifully crafted aniline leathers and carefully selected fabrics, and last but not least, Spirit is an exclusive, well-propor tioned luxury range, offering designer fabrics and supreme comfort. Each range does its own specific job when it comes to meeting market demands and by working hard to identify and fill gaps in said market we have seen strong demand across our collections.”
Believing passionately about outstanding design and new product development, Westbridge Furniture Designs has created the largest upholstery design and development resource in the UK. This resource is carefully structured to maximise partnerships with individual retailers, and to ensure an exclusive, exciting and highly responsive product development process. Trends are gathered from all over the world and, with travel and inspiration for new ideas encouraged, the company’s design team are always producing innovative, desirable and relevant products.
During the course of its 13 years in existence, the company has had a continuous commitment towards investment in its infrastructure and processes. The result of this is its unique, made-to-order manufacturing capabilities, with its full product offer exceeding 150,000 different options, offered in a range of lead times between one and six weeks, with on time deliveries being recorded at above 99.7 per cent.
Examples of this investment can be found in the form of its automated cutting machinery, which includes eight Gerber cutting machines, its foam conversion plant, three wood mills that process a variety of different timbers, and £500,000 worth of new CNC automated band saws. Meanwhile, investing in advances in Computer Aided Design technology allows Westbridge Furniture Designs to create the most efficient frame, minimise waste and increase speed to market.
“We are a design led business and one that has the ability, through operational diligence, to supply our excellent designs to retailers at competitive prices,” Paul states. “We have been able to achieve this by instilling a determination throughout the company, from top to bottom, to constantly improve in all aspects of what we do. It is this ethos that sees us continuing to invest in technology that provides added streamlining to our manufacturing process, allowing us to maintain lead-times, while at the same time broadening our customer base, and our model, unit and fabric offer.”
Paul concludes: “Over the next 12 to 18 months our primary focus will be on maintaining the competitive edge that we have, which has served us well to date. Looking further ahead, our strategic vision is to maintain our growth along the same trajectory that it is today, while always looking to further enhance our hard-earned reputation for being a premier supplier to the UK furniture market.”
Westbridge Furniture Designs
Services: The design and manufacturer of fabric and leather upholstery