“It’s just that blackburn is one of those brands that has been around for quite a while,” says the chief executive of furniture brand Blackburn, John Halliday.
“You can really see where it’s coming from.”
Blackburn, which has been in business since 1996, is one the UK’s most successful furniture brands and has long been a popular choice for home buyers.
Its home furnishing brands have sold millions of pieces over the years, including a string of classic pieces like the modern, plush-y armchair, as well as contemporary furniture.
Blackburn has been on a huge expansion drive over the past year, including relaunching its online store.
Blackbow, which sells a range of modern and retro furniture, has also recently announced a huge resurgence in sales, with its latest catalogue of furniture set to be released at the end of the month.
The brand’s sales have been boosted by a resurgence in interest from young people, who are more likely to shop online and are therefore more likely not to have to spend a lot of money on a traditional furniture purchase.
“Blackburn is seeing a huge uptick in sales and I think the younger generation are really interested in this type of furniture,” Halliday says.
“They want to have that comfort, to feel that comfort of the comfort of home, and Blackburn is the perfect fit for them.”
The success of Blackburn’s online store and Blackbow’s relaunch of the furniture catalogue will have a knock-on effect on the UK furniture market.
The resurgence in Blackburn sales follows a fall in the number of new orders for furniture, which fell by 4.7% in the third quarter.
Halliday expects this to continue.
“We have an incredibly strong base of sales in the home and I’m confident that our brand will continue to grow,” he says.
Blackwood, meanwhile, is set to release a brand new line of furniture, with a focus on modern, contemporary and classic.
Blackwood is the second-biggest furniture brand in the US and has seen strong growth in recent years, with sales jumping by more than 50% between 2010 and 2015.
In terms of consumer spending, Blackwood sales were down by 5.9% in Q3 2016 compared to Q3 2015, but Halliday thinks that’s because there is more interest in the brand among young people.
“It has been such a long time since the last time we sold our product, and that is something that has really been our focus,” he adds.
Although Blackwood’s sales are up, the company is losing money, with profits falling from £13.5 million in the three months to the end-June to £13 million in Q4 2016.
However, Halliday believes that the resurgence of Blackwood and the recent revival of the brand’s online shop will see the business grow and expand in the coming years.
‘A brand worth the price of admission’ “It’s a brand worth buying, especially in a recession,” he argues.
“If you’re in a market that is experiencing a recession, you have a lot more opportunity to take advantage of the new opportunity that the internet offers.”
However Blackwood will need to find new markets to fill its new role, with new products and services such as its home goods line of clothes and home furnishments likely to see more demand.
A major reason why Blackwood has been able to maintain its sales momentum is the success of its online business.
Blackboard, a popular and highly successful online platform for ordering and buying furniture, will close in 2018, leaving Blackwood to take its place.
As the company looks to fill the void, Halladay believes that Blackwood could benefit from another new platform.
“Blackwood has a lot going for it.
We’ve got the opportunity to do something that we’ve never done before in terms of an online marketplace,” he explains.
“We can really compete with what we have in the traditional retail industry, with Amazon, and I believe Blackwood would be the perfect platform to do that.”
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