independent

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Lowneys going the extra mile to provide quality furniture service

Published 11/03/2014 | 05:38

Eddie Lowney in Lowneys Castlebridge

THE world of furniture retail is changing, and Lowneys are rolling with the punches – coming up smiling.

Brendan Lowney junior stands in the spacious Castlebridge showroom he runs with sister Jennifer and brother Eddie. He points out that they are the third generation of the clan to be involved. Experience and tradition stand them and their customers in good stead.

'This is very much a family business,' he stresses. It was back in 1957 that John Lowney and his wife Peggy (both now deceased) established their store at South Main Street in Wexford town. They were succeeded in due course by Brendan senior and his wife Annette before the current crop joined.

The shop in town has just been closed but the Castlebridge showroom, all 15,000 square feet of it, is very much still open for business. They have been selling here beside the Wexford to Gorey road since the late 1980s with room to display 80 suites, 70 beds and scores of dining tables in a wonderland that stretches to three floors.

Brendan admits that an enterprise which has been on the go for more than half a century has never experienced anything like the recession which hit seven years ago. The post Celtic Tiger downturn hit a worrying low a year ago but it now appears that the economy is slowly climbing out of the worst. Key to survival through the hard times was the dedication of staff who knuckled down to work hard and who knew their jobs inside out.

Lowneys have emerged more responsive than ever to the requirements of their customers. For those who require a house or apartment fitted out fast, they can be on the road to anywhere in the country with the necessary items within a matter of a couple of days.

For those who want their sofa, chair or dining table made to match precise personal preference, the waiting time may be slightly longer. Brendan points to a settee and says it may be customised with a choice of 12 different leathers or 40 fabrics as required.

The funky Fama furniture, made in Spain, comes in a selection of 400 different finishes. Otherwise, much of the Lowneys selection is Irish made by suppliers such as Maguire's in Belfast or Connolly's in Monaghan, who are just as versatile when it comes to meeting customer specifications.

The showroom is legendary for its selection of beds, with trusted Irish brands such as Odearest and King Koil to the fore. Lowneys make a point of visiting the factories where the mattresses are made, adding another reassuring layer of understanding to the family tradition in the world of springs, orthopaedics and memory foam, from cosy captain's beds to a vast high-tech king-size with six different zones adjustable for firmness or softness.

The whole Lowneys operation has been streamlined to allow the company in Castlebridge offer great value to householders, landlords, restaurateurs and hoteliers alike. Call in or have a look at www.lowneys.ie

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