The White Company
The White Company
The White Company
New shop open
Monday 09.30am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 09.30am - 5.30pm
Wednesday 09.30am - 5.30pm
Thursday 09.30am - 5.30pm
Friday 09.30am - 5.30pm
Saturday 09.00am - 6.00pm
Sunday 11.00am - 5.00pm
Our shop in Chester offers our customers the perfect opportunity to see, try on, feel and even smell many of our ranges! It carries a wide selection of our current products, but due to space restrictions, unfortunately we are unable to stock everything!
Our friendly staff will be on hand to advise you on any queries you may have and if an item you require is not for sale, we may well have a sample to show you. If you visit our store and the item you desire is not available, we will be happy to order one in for you, either for collection from our store or to be delivered directly to your home - both services are offered free of charge!
Purchases from the store can also be gift wrapped on request.
Founded in 1994, The White Company specialises in supplying a wide range of stylish home accessories and clothing, principally in white.
The company that began life as a 12 page mail-order brochure and celebrated its 15th year in 2009 has become one of the UK's fastest growing multi-channel retailers. With over 450,000 customers, it produces eight brochures a year & operates a highly successful website.
The idea for the company began in August 1993, when its founder, Christian Rucker, identified a gap in the market for beautiful but affordable home accessories in white. Chrissie, her boyfriend (now husband) Nick Wheeler (who runs leading mail-order company Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts) and his sister Susie were all in the process of re-stocking new homes, but could not find a comprehensive collection of white bed linen, towels, napkins etc. The market at that time was polarised between low quality 'cheap' designs and the unaffordable 'designer' end of the market.
The idea was born, and at Nick's suggestion, Chrissie decided to supply her products via mail order, to address a national market without the overheads of a retail premises. The ideas of white products and mail order were combined, and all that remained was to make it happen!
By December 1993, Chrissie had identified and secured 70% of the first suppliers, so she resigned from her job as Assistant Health and Beauty Editor on Harpers & Queen and spent three months sourcing the remaining suppliers. With the modest help of a local government CENTEC grant and the profit from selling some shares, Chrissie began to put together the first White Company brochure. It was just 12 pages long and photographed in a friends house on borrowed Simon Horn beds.
SPREADING THE WORD
With a non-existent advertising budget, Chrissie had to rely on recruiting customers by gaining editorial, not advertising. Two months before The White Company was launched, she wrote to the shopping and home editors of leading newspapers and magazines to introduce the company. The response was fantastic, and the week before the launch, The Financial Times featured The White Company on its 'How to Spend It' pages. Hundreds of requests for the brochure flooded in, even before it was printed!
THE EARLY DAYS
For the first six months the business was run from an attic room in Nick's house with the help of Chrissie's sister Jo. The house steadily filled with the first boxes of The White Company's products and brochures were sent out. It really was a gamble, but Chrissie had belief in her concept and an intuition that the timing was just right.
The business had a phone, a fax machine and a computer that Chrissie didn't really know how to use. As the orders started to come in, it was down to Chrissie and Jo to log the orders, pack the parcels and then load Jo's Mini-Metro to head for the post office. To begin with, orders ranged from just three to ten a day; but as The White Company name became established over that summer, the orders increased to 20 or 30 a day. With this increased workload; lack of computers, space and manpower became a problem, so the company relocated to a small warehouse, purchased a fully integrated mail-order system and started to look for more help.
TEN YEARS ON?
Once the mail order business was fully established, and in order that customers could see and touch the products they were buying, The White Company opened its first store, in Chelsea's Symons Street, in 2001. There are now twenty UK stores, two UK outlet stores, four UK concessions plus thirteen franchises, and retail is proving to be just as successful as mail order. Collectively, The White Company's sales channels are forecast to generate approximately £80M to March 2009.
As well as providing opportunities for sales across different channels, The White Company product range has diversified according to the needs of its loyal customers, and in direct reflection of Chrissie's changing lifestyle. Products for kids have grown within the main range for many years, from clothing and bedlinen to accessories and furniture. To showcase the number and variety of these products, the second stand-alone Little White Company store is now open opposite The White Company store on Marylebone High Street.
Although some signature colour pieces are introduced into the range to add seasonality, the core product range remains in timeless and impeccably stylish white. Products are designed to reflect this enduring elegance and to sit equally well in a contemporary loft apartment or a traditional country cottage. Almost all of The White Company's products are made exclusively, and over the years the product collection has broadened enormously from just a few key pieces to a complete lifestyle selection.
At the heart of the product range remain essentials for the linen cupboard, including duvets, pillows, fitted sheets, bedspreads, blankets, throws, luxury bath towels, mattress protectors and table linen. The introduction of clothing has provided a natural extension to these products, and in addition to classic bathrobes, designs in linen, cotton and jersey, simple accessories and nightwear for adults and children have become real favourites.
The White Company has also developed a range of practical and stylish accessories to create the perfect laundry room. The range includes linen waters and sprays, palm laundry baskets, willow storage baskets, ironing board covers, white wooden hangers and lavender and cedar balls.
A move was also made recently into the non-textile market, with products for the home to complement The White Company's core product ranges. These include a stunning range of "chef style" white china, glassware and cutlery, plus scented candles, bathroom accessories and The White Company's own-brand of luxury bath & body products.
In spite of its rapid growth, The White Company retains a firm grasp of its core values, identity and philosophy. It is consistently committed to supplying impeccably designed products that are of the finest quality and at outstanding value for money. In addition, levels of service (across every channel) are constantly monitored to provide a shopping experience that is second to none.
"I didn't think, even in my wildest dreams, I would ever have imagined that The White Company would grow into what it has become today" says Chrissie. "It is down to a great team and our loyal customers who have all helped to make this happen!"
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