Why Slaithwaite furniture maker Daval sees the home improvement boom continuing

People are paying more attention than ever before to their homes and looking to adapt them for multiple purposes following the coronavirus outbreak, according to a furniture manufacturer.

Daval, based in the village of Slaithwaite, has benefitted from the boom in home improvements as a result of the various lockdowns implemented to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Simon Bodsworth, managing director of Daval, says that people are “valuing their homes” more.

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He told The Yorkshire Post: “They are understanding what space they want in terms of how they are now living with their family as they are also working at home, playing at home and entertaining at home.

The three brothers have been involved in the family business since they were schoolchildren.

“It has become, particularly the kitchen, multifaceted in terms of how they use that space.”

The bespoke fitted furniture manufacturer is seeing its products being used across the whole home and not just kitchens and bedrooms. Customers have been adding home offices, boot rooms and utility rooms.

“Homes aren’t getting bigger so they’re looking for that additional bit of space and because we make things to order our products are a natural fit for those spaces,” Mr Bodsworth said.

With holidays abroad still in doubt, Mr Bodsworth says a lot of that spend is still moving towards home improvement.

Daval’s Renzo kitchen collection features cabinet doors made from 100 per cent recycled materials.

Daval was established in 1978 by former cabinet maker David Bodsworth and his wife Alyson.

The business employs 65 people and has a turnover of £6m.

In recent years, the business has been run by their sons Simon, James, who is the creative director, and Paul, who is operations director.

Sustainability has become a key factor for consumers when buying furniture and Daval has been putting a greater emphasis on it.

Boom in business: Simon, James and Paul Bodsworth at furniture manufacturer Daval, which is benefitting from a boom in home improvement.

James Bodsworth said: “People used to just buy for aesthetics. Whereas now what’s coming to the forefront of most people’s minds is how sustainable the brand is that they are buying from.” Simon Bodsworth likens it to the motoring industry with the advent of electric cars changing people’s mindset when making purchasing decisions.

“You look back five years, would you walk into a car showroom and necessarily look for an electricity vehicle? Maybe, maybe not,” he said.

“Today it’s probably front of mind and the first thing that you would do.”

Daval’s Renzo kitchen collection features cabinet doors made from 100 per cent recycled materials.

The business employs 65 people and has a turnover of £6m

The business has also been more open about its supply chain with the majority of its materials being sourced from the UK.

British provenance “really does help” Daval connect with consumers, says Simon Bodsworth.

He added: “We’ve not changed what we do. We’ve talked more about how we do it. In terms of buying British, it’s more about people wanting to source locally. They know now where the product is coming from.”

Daval also invested £1.5m in automated machinery that reduced the amount of waste that the business produces within by utilising off-cuts as well as providing more data on what the firm uses and how it uses it.

“It allows us to control material usage and how we optimise it, how we work it and how we rework it,” Paul Bodsworth said. “We’re minimising waste significantly. Constantly reusing it and putting it back into mainline production.”

Ultimately, Paul Bodsworth hopes Daval provides a work environment where employees feel appreciated.

He said: “You want people to go home and say I work for a good company. You’re not a number. You mean something.”

Welcome to the showroom

Daval has predominantly been a business to business brand supplying independent networks. However, it is looking to expand its business to consumer offering by welcoming people to its showroom.

Simon Bodsworth said: “The nice thing about bringing people in directly and speaking of working with them is you’re learning straight from the source about what people want, what storage challenges they have got and how they live.

“We can then improve the product and service and go back out and provide a higher level of service to our business to business customers as well. It’s a really nice fit.”

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