Home Retail Fast-growing Yorkshire interiors business invests £40,000 in new e-commerce platform

Fast-growing Yorkshire interiors business invests £40,000 in new e-commerce platform

Charlotte and Richard Grafton in the Wetherby showroom

Richard Grafton Interiors is continuing to expand with the launch of a brand new online platform that aims to offer all the items available in its Harrogate, Ilkley and Wetherby showrooms to designers and homeowners in the rest of the UK , expanding its customer base and enabling people to shop, whatever the COVID-19 restrictions.

The new e-commerce site, designed and built locally by Thynne Creative in Ilkley, has been project managed by Charlotte Grafton, brand manager at Richard Grafton Interiors. Charlotte, 26 , returned to Harrogate from London to work in the family business 12 months ago, having gained retail experience working as a buyer for Harrods.

“With the physical stores continuing to thrive, enhancing our online offering and creating an e-commerce platform was the natural next step,” explains Charlotte. “Not only have we taken the opportunity to freshen up the website, we also wanted to give customers the option of shopping with us remotely, giving them the feel of being in one of our stylish showrooms from the comfort of their own home.”

Managing director Richard Grafton adds: “Following the initial lockdown, we saw a marked increase in interest in interiors with so many more people either working remotely, or simply spending a greater amount of time at home. Once the showrooms were able to re-open in July, we enjoyed a really busy summer but realised we needed to accelerate our plans for an online shop in the face of possible further lockdowns.

“We’ve pulled out all the stops to deliver the project ahead of schedule and we’re really pleased that our virtual fourth showroom is up-and-running in time for customers to do their Christmas shopping. A select choice of Christmas decorations and gifts is available online, taking away the worry of whether or not shops re-open in December.”

Established eight years ago, the Yorkshire interiors, architecture and design business now employs 21 staff, including 12 designers working across its interior design, bespoke cabinetry and bathroom division. In June, it opened a new showroom in Wetherby.

“Despite its delayed opening due to lockdown, the Wetherby showroom got off to a flying start. The combination of our inspiring room sets, together with our knowledgeable and friendly team led by interior designers, Donna Schofield and Karen Draper, plus the renewed enthusiasm for interiors meant that Wetherby outperformed targets and we’ve had great feedback from customers.

“As a business, we pride ourselves on our ability to constantly adapt and improve. We believe our latest investment in an e-commerce platform will complement our bricks-and-mortar stores, encompassing the full range of products across our three showrooms while offering customers the convenience of being able to shop from their own home.”

Since launching in March 2012, Richard Grafton Interiors has evolved from providing fabrics and soft furnishings to offering a complete service with its team of designers, spatial planners and installers providing a full turnkey solution for all interiors projects.