Belfast Telegraph

Dreams furniture customers given reassurance over future of stores

By Clare Weir

Customers of the Dreams furniture chain have been assured that Northern Ireland branches of the store are not affected by administration.

On Wednesday it emerged that more than 1,600 jobs at beds giant Dreams have been saved after 171 of its shops were bought out of administration.

Dreams plc in Northern Ireland continues to trade as a separate company. There are nine stores here.

The English group's head office at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and two UK factories have also been sold to Sun Capital Partners.

Administrators said Sun Capital Partners, which already owns sofa chain SCS Upholstery, will honour warranties. Orders where part-payment deposits have been made for goods will also be met.

Private equity firm Exponent acquired Dreams from its founder Mike Clare in 2008 in a deal worth more than £200m.

Mr Clare reportedly wanted to win the business back and keep all the stores open, but was turned down by lenders Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays. He worked for several furniture firms before setting up a sofa bed shop in Uxbridge, Middlesex, in 1986.

The father-of-four remortgaged his home to start the company and a year later opened the first Dreams store after adding beds to the range. In 2006 Dreams opened an 84,000 sq ft bed factory in Oldbury, West Midlands. Its other factory is in Warrington, Cheshire.

Belfast Telegraph