Derbyshire Life Q&A with Hunters of Derby – December 2022

by Matthew Sheard

Hunters is a family business that was founded in 1928 by the two Hunter brothers in the same premises that they occupy today in the heart of Derby.  Hunters Furniture specialise in providing luxurious furniture and accessories for the home and provide a personal service to each customer.

Hunters of Derby Showroom

Q: You have been furnishing homes across Derbyshire for close to 100 years. How important are your local roots and the community of Derbyshire to you and your business?

A: Derbyshire is our home as well as where we run our business and we are very lucky to be part of such a beautiful county. But we are also very fortunate to work with customers all over the UK, largely down to the relationships we have developed and our reputation for excellence. As an independent family-run business we intend to be here for many years to come.

Q: You've been on the same site in Derby since 1928 and are the city's longest-established furnishing store - that must give you a great sense of pride and belonging?

A: Absolutely. We love Derby and although the high street has changed beyond recognition, we are fortunate to have a great location here, on Babington Lane.  Our café has also become a really popular destination for customers to meet with friends or take time to consider their purchase in calm and comfortable surroundings. Our website is also a great place for people to initially browse our collections and buy online.  Introducing the website and expanding our range of styles and services has helped us to keep up with changing customer demands. 

Q: How has the industry changed over the years and have customer expectations evolved over time?

 A: Furniture is far more accessible and affordable now. There is a far greater choice of styles and colours in our showroom than in the past and there was a time when the choice of features wasn’t as broad.  Now people can choose things like the height of the armrests and the back on sofas, so they are customised for their specific requirements.  We have a recliner chair with massage and heating options which wouldn’t have been possible when the Hunter brothers first opened! 

Furniture at Hunters Derby

Q: You're a local, independent, family-run business - do you feel this helps you stand out as a go-to furnishing store?

 A: Definitely. The whole team is passionate about supplying quality furniture for the way we live, and people come back to us time and time again because of our customer service and knowledge. We really take pride in being welcoming and friendly, and take the time to speak to people if they feel they need advice on things that they don’t purchase frequently such as mattresses and beds.  We are always on hand to help and we run our business around our customers. 

Q: Are there any furnishing requests that are particularly popular at Hunters at the moment? Be it for bedrooms/kitchens/dining rooms etc?

 A: Our home and room design service is really growing in popularity and people who may not have much time, or, are not sure about what interiors to choose, turn to us for advice and guidance. Customers often comment that our USP is our service, we love the creative side and strive to make everything easy and stress free. We can put together colour schemes, layout, and furniture suggestions for any space – large or small.  We then take care of ordering and coordinate delivery to suit so it is a seamless and stress-free service.

Q: Do you feel that the past few years (Covid etc) has made people value their spaces and homes even more than before?

 A: Yes, definitely. People were spending more time at home than ever, and what we found was that people realised that they wanted to make more use of certain areas or totally restyle their rooms. It was clear that people really started to rethink their homes and the way they lived changed forever with many people starting to work from home as well as living there – a compromise in the way we used our spaces was often needed.

Q: What furnishing trends should we look out for in 2023?

 A: Great question and looking at the next seasons style and trends is something we have a real passion for. We are finding that there is a trend towards introducing more natural materials and those that are responsibly sourced. People love a luxurious look and feel with natural fabrics and textures, and this is something that will continue to grow as we consider the environmental impact of our purchases and look for interiors that will stand the test of time.

We are also seeing people being braver with introducing more colour into their homes, blues and greens both continue to be popular - this is a great way to connect to the outside and to nature.