History of Dreams
The first Dreams store was opened by founder, Mike Clare in Uxbridge, West London, in 1985. Over the next 20 years he gradually expanded the company, and by 2006, when Dreams opened its own factory in Oldbury, there were 108 stores. Two years later in 2008, Mike Clare sold Dreams to private equity firm, Exponent Private Equity, and stepped down from the company.
Sun European Partners, global private equity group, acquired Dreams out of administration in 2013 and appointed Mike Logue, formerly managing director at Mothercare, Asda and Gamestation, as CEO to lead the turnaround.
Since then the business has grown to become Britain’s most recognised bed specialist.
At the heart of this success has been a focus on people (colleagues and customers) and product. With both customers and employees in mind, every single Dreams store in the country has been renovated. This has included refreshing signage and store layout, as well as introducing the “Comfort by Colour” proposition. A simple and effective way of categorising customers’ potential mattress choices by colour, Comfort by Colour is a unique initiative in the sector and has been successful in making the shopping experience easier and more straightforward for the customer.
The factory and warehouse have also been fully modernised, investing significant funds in state of the art machinery. This has not only improved productivity, but also the quality of the product, which has had a noticeable impact on customer satisfaction.
The marketing and customer services departments now sit in-house at ’Bedquarters’ in High Wycombe. With 200 employees, Bedquarters represents the central contact centre for Dreams’ entire network of stores and distribution centres, as well as the base for all customer service operations.
Listening to customers and putting their needs first is key to the success of Dreams. Pillow Talk, a customer feedback tool, was introduced in 2014 to help customers provide feedback on their purchase experience. Since its introduction, over 130,000 customers have used the service both online and in-store, and Dreams has been able to use the feedback to affect real change in the business.
Finally, Dreams has sought to communicate its expertise on sleep. In 2015, ‘Replace Every 8’ campaign was launched. This was an industry-changing initiative centred on educating the public about the importance of replacing one’s mattress every 8 years. Using multiple channels to explain the importance a mattress can have when it comes to getting a great night’s sleep, the campaign continues today and has changed the way that millions of people think about their sleeping habits.
This commitment to changing the way people think about sleep has manifested itself in the Sleep Matters Club. Made up of online and social content, the Sleep Matters Club is a growing collection of tips, educational tools and even an app, all aimed at educating customers about the value and importance of sleep.