Independent Retailer Month - Interview with T.R Hayes - G Plan
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Independent Retailer Month – Interview with T.R Hayes

Earlier this month we headed to London Road in Bath to have a chat with the Managing Director of our closest Independent Retailer, T.R Hayes. Welcomed into their store by friendly staff, we were kindly greeted with the beaming smile of Richard Hayes. From the moment we sat down, Richard’s passion for the furniture business, his staff and his customers was evident, as was his pride in the long-standing family history of his store.

How did T.R Hayes come to be the Business we know today?

“It is a fascinating story. In the 1830s my family were chair makers in Bethnal Green, London. In World War One, the factory was bombed, and my great grandmother wanted to move away. They came to Bath and decided to open up a shop. But as time moved on, the chair making skill died, and retailing took over.

My father joined here in 1953, passed away in 2022, but was here almost every minute of every day in between, the businesses developed from something very small to what we are now. And hopefully under my tenure, we continue to grow, develop, improve and adapt to the world.”

T.R Hayes has been around for over 100 years, how has it stood the test of time?

“That’s the million-dollar question. I think as an independent, we’re more able to act and think independently. We’re able to make decisions and changes quickly.” Richard explained. With fewer levels of communication, Independent Retailers have more freedom to switch things up and respond to market demands quicker.

“We’re very lucky to be in Bath, which has always been and hopefully will continue to be a destination city and somewhere very special.” Situated in the heart of the city, T.R Hayes now occupies three shop spaces on the junction where London Road and Walcot Street meet. Existing for so long in a prestigious city like Bath, is testament to the way they do business and shows the value of Independent Retailers.

“Most of all, having the right staff. You’re only as good a business as your staff…the key thing is to not be pushy, to help the customer find the right product.”

Why do you think Independent Retailers are so important?

Independent businesses are often able to connect with their customers on a personal level, creating a family environment, often leading to customers returning time and time again. “There are benefits of being part of a bigger group in terms of advertising, in terms of buying power. For independent retailers, I think you’re probably able to reflect your area better, to give the customer more of a face-to-face service.”

Richard expressed the importance of catering to the demographic of the area you’re selling in, a task that is much easier for Independents. This personalised approach often means more to customers, making their buying experience more tailored to them. “As an independent, you’re able to engage and interact more.” A sentiment expressed often throughout our conversation, the relationships that Independents can build with their team and customers over time is an incredibly integrated value at the core of their business.

What’s your favourite part of being an Independent?

“The flexibility. It’s nice to have the independence, to be able to almost go off on the fly, to take a bit of a risk…if you’re here with an amazing product I’m excited about, I’m passionate about, I want to get it on the shop floor as quickly as possible.” Richard’s passion for the furniture world truly is the driving force behind T.R Hayes, and the flexibility to switch things up as they happen plays a major part in his process. Something often only afforded to those in an Independent Business setting.

What is your favourite G Plan model?

“Seattle’s clean lines and amazing comfort is a winner for me. From a furniture purist point of view… eyes can attract you to Suites, bums make you buy it.” Richard conveys his admiration for the ever popular Seattle. One of our long-standing and bestselling models, Seattle invites you in with sleek style and welcoming comfort. Truly an ode to the long history of G Plan and our partnership with T.R Hayes.

Celebrate Independent Retailers Month this July by heading to your local independent G Plan Retailer. Are you in or around Bath? Why not pop in and see our recently refreshed display in T.R Hayes for yourself! Try out some Sofas, relax in our Armchairs and discover the perfect Suite for you and your home.

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