“All the way back…
In 1977 I discovered a demand for second-hand office furniture through my acquiring a few steel filing cabinets. This to me was a door opener. Through perseverance and effort I built up a name for myself sourcing good quality second-hand furniture. Although the recession was still prominent, I found Gloucester to be a hive for new start-ups and small businesses, with big dreams but not necessarily big budgets.
I had in my garden a large shed which I kept full with office furniture, but soon I was able to buy a small shop in town where I stayed till 1980, when I acquired a useful three story warehouse locally, and that remained my businesses hub for the following 9 years. In 1989 the business outgrew the premises once again, and I made the decision to have a premises of my own built, which is actually the premises we run from today.
During the 1980’s we were taking deliveries from London, with often two lorry loads of stock arriving fortnightly. Much of this was sold before it had even hit our warehouse floor. I spent my days unloading, cleaning, repairing and delivering. We had a good business name building up, so clients came to us, far from the days of SEO and pay per click we know now!
In the mid 1980’s came the rise of new furniture in self-assembly packs, manufactured in melamine faced chipboard. A new age had dawned, customers now had access to low priced furniture that was brand new. Mass production allowed for great offers on desking, seating, storage and much more, meaning that no matter how small a business you were, you could create a swish new image without the need for a big injection of cash. Wanting to keep up with the times, I had to adapt my business into something much more like the modern Cobus Spaces that clients recognise today.
Slowly the market for second-hand had shrunk, but my strong customer base drove me to grow. In the mid 1990’s we decided to start marketing, so we invested in catalogues. Later we mailed out reply-paid cards, advertising special offers and our services by colourful and striking pictures. In 2008 the business decided to drop mass mailing, and took an alternative route, telemarketing. We phoned several thousands of business names within the five counties of Gloucester, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire and Avon. The foundations of that database are still at the core of our marketing strategy and are used every single day to ensure we stay on the pulse for up and coming projects.
By 2010 we turned our attention to the internet running the business through two different websites, Cobus Spaces and Cotswold Direct. With the business of everyday, it was only recently we decided that these needed to be re- evaluated and our branding reenergised. Thus we invested hours of research, design and development to produce the site you find yourself on today.
Looking back on my time with Cobus Spaces I can see how far both myself and the business have come, but looking forward I can see a very bright future for us and our clients. In all the change that has occurred over the last, nearly four decades, I can still see the same intent and culture holding everything together:
Our customers will always come first
We will always go above and beyond to make sure you are happy
Our installation is always included in the price. No extras and no hidden fees”