Dreams History

From one man’s dream, to over 250 superstores

We are Britain's leading bed specialist – your one-stop shop for everything from beds to mattresses and bedsteads to pillows. We’re proud to offer you the biggest choice around. But how did we get here?

It’s a simple story. Mike Clare, our founder, had been working with furniture his whole life. And over the years, he’d come to understand just how crucial a really good bed is. There were plenty of furniture stores around, but nowhere that understood beds quite like he did. He spotted a gap in the market for a specialist bed retailer. So in 1987, the first Dreams store opened its doors.

From the very first day, it was a genuine passion for beds that set Dreams apart. That, and our commitment to excellent customer service and great prices. From the word go, Mike wanted to build a business based on four key elements: choice, price, delivery and comfort. And it turned out to be a winning formula.

Dream big, grow bigger

By 2000, we had 50 stores, we’d opened our own mattress factory, and by 2002, we were Britain’s leading Bed Specialist. We also picked up the Furniture Retailer of the Year award for an unprecedented three years in a row.

These days, we’re still the UK’s fastest-growing retailer, with well over 200 superstores across the country and a thriving online shop. In the last couple of years we’ve opened nine new stores in Scotland and a new bed factory. There’s no stopping Mike’s big dream!

See how we've grown

1985 – 1 store Mike Clare opened a sofa bed shop in Uxbridge with the slogan “high quality, low prices”

1987 – 5 stores we opened our head office and warehouse in High Wycombe, and changed our name to Dreams

1990 – 9 stores we decided to specialise exclusively in beds

1992 – 12 stores we built the world’s largest bed! We also opened our flagship store on Tottenham Court Road

1998 – 37 stores we opened our second major distribution depot in Crawley  

2000 – 54 stores we launched our website, www.dreamsplc.com  

2002 – 67 stores officially named Britain's leading Bed Specialist, we opened our own mattress factory, and our first five stores in Wales

2003 – 100 stores we opened our 100th store AND the largest bed store in the world (Wednesbury, West Midlands)

2004 – 115 stores we won Furniture Retailer of the Year for a record third time

2005 – 120 stores we launched our new online store at www.dreams.co.uk  

2006 – 150 stores we go national, opening nine stores in Scotland. We opened our bed factory this year too

2007 – 160 stores our 20th anniversary, and the year we opened our Training Academy 

2008 – 200 stores we open our 200th store, doubling the size of the business in five years 

2009 - Over 220 stores and 1,700 employees by the end of 2009

2011 - Our internet blog, Sleep Talk is launched. We also launched the Dreams YouTube channel and Dreams on Facebook.


By the end of 2011 we'll look to have opened over 280 stores!