Family-owned furniture group has designs on new leadership

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.

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