The Furniture Clinic, based in Burnopfield, is a seasoned exporter. The company was originally established between father and son Keith and Ben Staerck, starting from a garage at home. However Keith retired in January 2012 leaving his son Ben to take over as Managing Director. The company now operates out of a 16,500 square foot factory on the Hobson Industrial Estate at Burnopfield and manufactures a unique range of leather cleaning, repair and restoration products for use in many industries such as furniture, automotive, clothing and accessories. In 2013, the company launched The Handbag Clinic to clean, repair and restore designer handbags and in 2015 they opened their first store on the Kings Road in Chelsea. Stores in Islington and Newcastle have since been opened.
Export makes up for over 45% of the Furniture Clinic’s sales and this figure is continuing to grow. Ben says “We export to pretty much every country in the world, doing most our business with USA, China, Russia, UAE, Saudi, Sweden, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and Poland. We supply into the Volvo supply chain in Sweden and they often charter aircraft privately just to get our products there within 24 hours.
Ben offers some good advice to first time or potential exporters. “Exporting isn’t as daunting as it might seem. Our website generates most of our international customers so make sure yours stands out.”