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From modest post war beginnings to a booming, well respected business in Blackpool in 2017 the path has certainly not always been plain sailing for Lefton’s. The rise of Lefton’s Furniture Group follows two generations, each endeavouring to supply the greater North West with quality furniture at affordable prices, an ethos that stood the test of time and is still at the heart of the business today.
It all began as the brainchild of brothers Reuben and Cyril Lefton in 1946 who had the idea to create a carpet business. The first retail outlet for the brothers was at 68 Central Drive, little did they know the phenomenon they were creating. Within just 5 years business was booming, the brothers agreed that the small allotment was no longer sufficient and in order to expand and diversify they took over 94-96 Central Drive.
Business however continued to grow and the need for greater space became apparent so they initially acquired 156 Church Street, a former music shop, later expanding into numbers 154 and 158 to create a showroom that offered vast amounts of furniture and was unlike any other competitor in the North West. This quick growth and success can be directly attributed to Blackpool’s increasing success said Mr Cyril Lefton then aged 44, “We have prospered as Blackpool has prospered by progress, it is the public we thank, for their patronage which has made expansion possible and necessary.”
Almost 20 years on and by 1964 expansion was still on the agenda, mid year saw the Thompsons Brothers shop at 41-43 Topping Street acquired as a permanent display for exclusive furniture from all over the world including Sweden, Canada, Denmark and France, quite exotic for its day, whilst 1967 saw the opening of the supermarket like “Cylben Carpets” at 47-49 Talbot Road.
By now Reuben and Cyril were preening sons Richard and Ivor to take the business forward for the next generation. However it was not all smooth sailing for the company over the next 20 years, 1963 saw a flood from a broken water pipe causing havoc and destroying valuable furniture, the opening of the new store at General Street, in 1978 saw complaints from neighbours about noise and congestion, 1987 and 88’ brought more trying times with an £18,000 Bedford Redline delivery van being stolen from the allotment and never recovered, whilst just before closing for Christmas trading in 1988 a fire broke out in the bottom floor of the Topping Street store, at around 6am. The fire had swept through the bottom half of the shop destroying everything in its path, whilst the upstairs departments were all smoke damaged. Loss assessors put the damage at an estimated £100,000.
However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for this local company when in 1990 after understanding and listening to their customers needs Lefton took their business one step further and introduced their curtain business to compliment the 3 piece suites they had on offer, this proved a very popular move and so the new service continued with great success. Lefton’s Group have throughout the years continued to research suppliers both mainland and abroad for elegant and stylish designs to lead the trends of the UK furniture market. By utilising their expertise Lefton’s have been able to fight to keep prices at an all time low amidst major competition guaranteeing their customer’s the best prices on top quality furniture within the Lancashire region.
£¼ million investment
In 1991 Lefton’s Group became one of 17 targets in the UK, the General Street store was hit as part of a mainland bombing campaign undertaken by the IRA. However despite this massive set back Lefton’s Group and their employees showed enormous resilience to open again in three weeks time for the January sales. A completely refurbished Lefton’s Group General Superstore did not officially open until May 15th 1992, however when it did it boasted an increased floor space of 1/3 its normal surroundings with a new 12,000 square feet of floor space on two levels, including a car park for customers. This is the store as we all now it today albeit with a brand new £¼ million leather gallery added. 1999 saw the end of an era with the retirement of Reuben and Cyril.
Since 2010 Lefton’s proudly boasts the biggest furniture collection in Blackpool and indeed Lancashire coupled with over 70 years of knowledge, trust and expertise to provide unrivalled quality, value and service. The Blackpool based showrooms display some of the finest furniture names in the industry from leading British and European design house. Continually keeping up with the times and keeping the customer at the heart of the business, the wonderful selection of traditional and classical furniture has been complimented with a stunning and exciting new collection of contemporary and indeed cutting edge designs and products for the next generation. The latest development is the new Mobility furniture showroom with some of the best recliner chairs, sofas and adjustable beds around.