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Galvin Brothers

Galvin Brothers branch out

Galvin Brothers opened their shop on Flemingate on 1 April 2014 and are already seeing the benefits of having a retail space for their range of high-quality handmade furniture.

They had been selling online since November 2012, but decided the time was right to expand into face-to-face business.

They trialled a pop-up shop in Mayfair, London, which gave them the opportunity to see how people engaged with their products, and saw that people like to touch and feel them before buying.

It set a precedent for how a retail space might work for them, incorporating both a shop and a showroom, providing a good space in which to photograph their products.

Matt Galvin, one of the two brothers who run the business, said: “It is massively important to display the products. Photography and art direction has to be very good, to draw people in. We are able to exhibit furniture in certain scenarios.”

Matt and his brother Andrew have followed in their father’s footsteps - he has been a joiner for 60 years and even now, at the age of 77, he is in the workshop supporting his sons. In fact, it is a real family affair, with their mother running the shop on a day-to-day basis.

Their first collection included a solid oak hand-crafted archetypal three-legged stool, alongside a bench and a dining table. They have since branched out into upholstered items, such as a footstool covered in fabric from fellow Yorkshire company Abraham Moon.

They are now developing a day bed, a couch and an upholstered bench. Having a retail space has also allowed them to produce a longer dining table, which is made to order and only available from the shop.

It has also enabled them to produce one-off items to sell in the shop, for instance when they discover a piece of wood at the timber merchants that is an odd shape or has unusual markings - things which they can’t then duplicate to sell online.

This diversification of things to sell has been a great boost to the company.

“Opening the shop in Beverley has been a good decision for a number of reasons,” Matt added. “It has been a good position to take for the business, and good for the brand. It would have been an obtuse decision to open in London.

“Plus, it is affordable. The rent is reasonable and, with it being our first premises, we have been given tax relief from the council.

“We are displaying and cultivating our products properly, and we have control over what we are doing, and can do it quickly.

“Sales have been pretty good, better than we imagined. And we are making good connections in the north, with customers coming to Beverley from Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.”


Galvin Brothers

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