Family-owned home furnishing firm Sterling Furniture Group is launching a recruitment drive for a new chief executive, as it reaches the 50th year in business.
Gordon Mearns is retiring after 20 years in the top job, during which time he has grown the company to 600 staff across 10 branches.
He steps down as managing director after overseeing the first steps of a rebranding that will see the majority of its shops trading as Sterling Home, which is already being used on the company’s online store.
Mearns will remain in position until the new chief executive is appointed.
Sterling Furniture was founded in September 1973 after George Knowles Senior saw the growing popularity of out-of-town retail parks in the United States.
He converted an old mill in Tillicoultry into his first furniture store, which was made famous in a series of television adverts starring sports broadcaster Dougie Donnelly.
The founder’s son, George Knowles Junior, took over the company in 1985 and began expanding the business beyond the Central Belt.
Mearns, who joined the business in 1984 and rose through its ranks to become its finance director, became managing director in 2003 following the death of George Knowles Junior at the age of 41.
Lesley Graham, Sterling’s buying director and the daughter of its founder, said: “On behalf of the family I want to extend our thanks to Gordon for his years of service and stewardship at Sterling Furniture Group, and wish him all the best for the future.
“He became managing director under difficult circumstances and has led the growth of our business for more than two decades, including our acquisition of Forrest Furnishings in 2016.
“Gordon has set us on an exciting course by spearheading our rebrand to Sterling Home – as well as streamlining many of our systems and processes behind the scenes.
“As we prepare to mark our 50th anniversary, we’ve already begun a significant investment in our Sterling Home stores and our online shop, and now we’re actively recruiting a dynamic new CEO with strong retail, data and digital expertise to take our family’s business to the next level.
“More immediately, as part of our focus on business continuity, we are working on a company-wide employee engagement process to gauge staff views and recommendations.”
More members of the third generation of the family are now also working in the business, including Ms Graham’s two sons, Murray and Euan and her nephew, George, who will shortly be appointed as company directors.
The group grew its pre-tax profits to £4.2m in the year to 28 February 2022, from £2.5m a year earlier, on the back of turnover rising to £55.5m, from £40.1m.
Don’t miss the latest headlines with our twice-daily newsletter – sign up here for free.
- Century Furniture celebrates 75 years | Local News
- Antique furniture is new again: Stylish, green and available | Home & Garden
- Home and furniture deals to shop right now
- Is it OK to buy furniture before you close on a house?
- This TikTok-Loved Upholstery Vacuum Will Make Your Furniture Look Brand New Again & It's on Sale