We all have a favourite place to sit in our homes, whether it’s our seat at the dinner table, our spot on the sofa, or the plush chair in the living room. Unfortunately, for many of us, there comes a time in our life when our favourite chair no longer gives us the support we need. That’s where the Recliner Chair Centre in The Heath can help
For more than 40 years, the Recliner Chair Centre has been providing the UK with the highest quality electric and leather recliner chairs. The story behind the business reveals the true extent of its first-class customer service.
“We’ve been in these premises for 35 years and been in business for 40,” says owner Alun Williams proudly.
“I was always interested in going into a business that would utilise my knowledge and love of engineering, as that is what I studied for my degree. Mechanical furniture is a combination of art and engineering as the mechanisms are so precise.”
Alun started the business by using mail order, advertising in publications like Country Living and Farmer’s Weekly, and drove all over the country delivering to his customers.
” I was one of the first to bring rise and recliners into the UK and helped develop this product for a number of manufacturers in Wales and England. Our experience and knowledge has resulted in us claiming to be the UK’s leading showroom retailer of the vast differences and ranges of actions used on this type of chair.”
At first, the chairs were made in Talbot Green but as it wasn’t deemed a safe place for their customers to visit, Alun decided to look for a showroom.
“We finally found our spot here in Heath after I visited someone in UHW and saw a For Sale sign on the building. It was exactly what we were looking for and gave us a presence in the local community.”
But in 2002, the team were dealt a huge blow when during work on an extension to the roof, a gable wall collapsed onto the joists of the first floor.
“We had no support from our insurance company and were told to take the building down to its bricks and mortar. We had received permission for our extension but now needed permission to demolish and rebuild the entire property!”
Despite the adversity, Alun and his team were determined not to be defeated and found ways of keeping customers happy.
“We traded out of portacabins at the front of the building. The rebuild took two years but ultimately enabled us to showcase more products,” says Alun reflectively.
The floor area is now able to showcase over 100 products and more lift and recline chairs than anywhere else.
“We used the opportunity to move to major brands. We embraced Parker Knoll, Sherborne, Celebrity and Cintique, but stock all major brands for optimum choice.”
Every chair on display has to ‘earn its place’ by showing a different variation of size and mechanisms.
“Lift and recline chairs now account for over 80% of our business and over the last six years, we have also sold the wonderful Sherborne motorised bed in all its variables. The bed essentially uses the same generic type of linear motors on which our expertise is founded – crossing the disciplines of engineering and upholstered furniture. I think this is why any new customers usually give us a pyramid of recommendations and therefore further sales,” says Alun.
Their genuine commitment to customer service is backed up with the fact that members of staff don’t receive commission on sales.
“We have heard terrible stories about people buying chairs at obscene prices or with a free offer of a bed, but if something goes wrong, there’s often no ongoing support. Our team can offer their extensive knowledge about the products we display including the variety of rise and recline chairs available. Sue has been here for 20 years and Chris for well over a decade.
“It’s in our nature to look after our customers. We’ve been here for such a length of time that we see people again and again over the years. It’s lovely to deal with people and have that ongoing relationship with them.”
A: 31 St Anthony Rd, Cardiff CF14 4DF
P: 029 2052 0808