If you go and check out the sofa.com website, three things will leap out at you: the sofas look incredibly expensive, and aren’t; their no-quibble customer guarantees are beyond generous; and the word “comfy” is used about a thousand times. Blacker explains: “The usual way to buy a sofa is to trawl through shop after shop, sitting on sofas, gawping at the exorbitant prices. Then, and I say this from experience, you find the one you want, and you decide to pay £2,000 or whatever for it. Then the salesperson tells you they’ll deliver it – in 12 weeks time! And won’t carry it up stairs!” Blacker and Reeves have done away with this agonising process by putting their store online: easy on the feet; significantly cheaper; with speedy delivery times – “Our record is 90 minutes after the order was placed,” says Blacker. The only problem with browsing sofas online is that you can’t test out their “squish” factor. Hence the repeated references to how “comfy” their cushions are. However, if a customer is unhappy with their purchase, comfiness related or otherwise, sofa.com give them an instant refund and pick up the unwanted settee free of charge. No wonder the company sees revenues of £4m a year. And the easy-return policy has done the firm no harm at all. Take-ups are extremely low. “We get some people asking to exchange for a different colour or style,” says Blacker. “But only about 2.5-3 per cent return their sofa.” Real Business is not surprised. Conducting the interview on one of the afore-mentioned comfy sofas at Sofa.com HQ, we start to wonder if there might be room for one of these babies in the office. Did we mention that they’re comfy? Related articlesDomains, dodgy deals, sofas and strippers
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