There are some places that become more than just a store, they become a part of the story of a city, an experience shared by lots of people. In Adelaide, Classic Timber has been that place for over thirty years.
Since the store first opened its doors back in 1975 under the banner of Whitewood Centre, South Australians have been heading there to furnish their homes.
When raw pine was the thing that’s what they stocked, there are lots of people who can still sing the jingle “Bursting at the seams with fine pine furniture” ….
In the late 1980s as tastes and fashion changed, David and Jill Gronow made the decision to change their business name from the Whitewood Centre to Classic Timber Furniture. When the new brand was unveiled in 1990, the store and the range it stocked was perfectly in tune with what South Australians where searching for to furnish their homes at the time.
“The change to Classic Timber was all about staying relevant to our customers” says Kimberly Fogarty, David and Jill’s daughter. “We changed the business name, our logo, and we changed the type of furniture we were selling. We had to change that jingle, but it was really important to us that our customers came in and received the same great service and support, and to feel the same trust and confidence in who they were buying from.
Under the Classic Timber Furniture name the business has gone from strength to strength. David and Jill may have retired, but with Kimberly and her husband James running the business it has continued to be a destination store in Adelaide. Its just about an everyday occurrence for someone to come in and say that they’ve got a bedroom suite or dining room suite that their parents bought from us.
‘We’ve been so lucky over the years – we have amazing staff – great people who’ve been with us for years and because they have developed their knowledge, they give our customers really good advice and help. That’s what’s at the heart of our business –great people who care about the service they give.
But great staff and service only go so far - Kimberly and James know that having the right product is what has kept their customers coming back. “Tastes have changed a lot” says Kimberly, “our customers are confident, looking for interesting pieces that fit with their homes, and their lifestyles.’
“Our range reflects that contemporary taste – lots of different materials – timber, wicker, fabric sofas, dining tables, a huge range of dining chairs, outdoor furniture, homewares, as well as a mix of styles, from mid-century to French provincial; but with the name Classic Timber Furniture, we weren’t always top of mind for anything other than timber furniture.
So the next chapter of the journey is about to be unveiled.The business that started as the Whitewood Centre and then became Classic Timber Furniture, is about to evolve again and will be re-launching as Kimberly James in July 2017.
“We are so excited about this next chapter’ says Kim. ‘The time feels right to freshen up, not just on the branding, but the store is getting a full refit too. We’re also working with new and exciting suppliers to launch some really lovely new products that fit perfectly with the new stylish casual aesthetic that people are creating at home.’
The quality furniture, built from Australian hardwoods that the business is so well known for, will still be available. Fittingly they will be marketed under the Classic Timber Furniture brand.
What won’t change though, is the people. As Kimberly says, “Our people are one of the biggest reasons that people keep coming back. And that won’t be changing, when the sign is changed to read Kimberly James."
House of Home is an online marketplace. We bring together retailers from across Australia and let you search 80,000 plus products in one location. There’s no place like it.