Sofology (formerly known as Sofaworks, CSL, Clayton Salerooms, and CS Lounge Suites Ltd), is a specialist sofa retailer, founded by the Tyldesley family in North West England.[2]

Sofology Ltd
IndustryRetail
Founded1974[1]
HeadquartersGolborne, United Kingdom
ProductsFurniture
Websitewww.sofology.co.uk

HistoryEdit

Sofology started out as CSL Sofas, and was originally an auction rooms based in Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington, Lancashire. In 1982, after including catalogue seconds lounge furniture, they moved into specialist sofa retail and manufacture. The company originally started as a high street store chain, selling only its own products.

Around 2002, the company ceased United Kingdom sofa manufacture, citing that it could source products in Europe, Eastern Europe and the Far East at better value, as the reason. Sofology has an expanding list of stores on high-profile retail parks in the United Kingdom. The business focuses on retailing leather sofas, fabric sofas, corner sofas and recliner sofas.

In February 2016, Sofaworks re branded to Sofology, following the loss of a court case against a competitor who argued that the Sofaworks name infringed on one of its owned brands.[3]

Sofology has made significant investment in television advertising, with expansion into geographical television regions and a clear move towards music based commercials. In December 2010, it saw 260 complaints to the ASA. This was as a result of an advert created to remake "Girls on Film", by Duran Duran. This used scantily clad women around the sofas. However, the complaints were not upheld, and the advert was allowed to run despite its critics.[4]

In October 2017, DFS announced the purchase of Sofology in a £25 million deal. The acquisition was ratified by the Competition and Markets Authority in November 2017.

OperationsEdit

Sofology employs around one thousand people across all of its locations, including its head office in Golborne. The company operates all its own deliveries and service technicians in house. A training centre is also located at head office. In 2011, the business had a fleet of over forty 7.5 tonne vehicles, as well as twenty professional technicians.

The business has six distribution centres, covering all of its stores, Golborne being the largest at over 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2), followed by one at 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) in South Yorkshire, and one at 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2) in Seaham in the North East. A further 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2) warehouse was opened in 2011. The most recent warehouse was opened in Bathgate in 2014.

In May 2011, Sofology, as CSL, joined The Furniture Ombudsman.[5] The business was also runner up in the 2010 Manchester Evening News Business of the Year (lost to Pets at Home). However, in 2010, it came first in Business XL Fastest Growing Business.[6][7]

FirstsEdit

Sofology was the first sofa company in the United Kingdom, to allow Mary Portas, Queen of Shops into its business. The television episode showed the inner workings of Sofology (then known as CSL) for a documentary on Channel 4.[8]

In January 2011, as a result of the show, the business started to campaign for transparency of pricing and discount offers, offering to help change laws surrounding what qualifies as a genuine discount. A single price offer was put forward, with a commitment from the business to maintain the lowest price possible. The show was heavily reviewed and commentated on by publicists.[citation needed]

Sofology was the first company of its type in the United Kingdom to offer a range of sofas for delivery within 72 hours.[citation needed] Sofology was also the first United Kingdom sofa retailer to make use of the Apple iPad as a point of sale device for taking orders in store, made possible by the development of a bespoke application.[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Sofaworks set to move into new building at Dundee retail park". Evening Telegraph. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Sofaworks Website".
  3. ^ "Sofaworks may be forced into rebrand after losing DFS legal battle". Prolific North. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  4. ^ http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2011/3/CSL/SHP_ADJ_145628.aspx
  5. ^ "Furniture ombudsman".
  6. ^ "Manchester Evening News". MEN.
  7. ^ "Business XL".
  8. ^ "Mary Portas Secret Shopper".