Furnishing Report - June 2018

Paul Tanner, our MD has appeared on the Furnishing Report website, where he talks about our rebrand and plans for the future.

Paul Tanner - Hayche - Furniture - Managing Director

Ex-M&S, Made.com buyer now MD of rebadged furniture brand

H Furniture has rebranded as Hayche having recruited former Marks & Spencer furniture buyer Paul Tanner to lead the business as managing director, whose five years with M&S were preceded with spells at Habitat, Luxdeco, Lombok and Made.com, oversaw the rebrand away from its former name.

The business was founded by RCA graduate Alejandro Villarreal, now creative director, who persuaded Mr Tanner to join the business earlier this spring.

"Having followed the business on Instagram, I was already a fan but I really jumped at the chance when I met Alejandro," he told The Furnishing Report in a telephone interview.

"His sketch book was amazing — he's got hundreds of designs that are ready to go."

Of the rebrand, he says the web domain hfurniture.co "was a bit limiting" and that nowadays customers expect the .com suffix as it is more professional. It now trades from the Hayche.com domain.

"If people are going to be buying 50 or a 100 chairs from you in one go they need to feel 100 percent trust for the brand."

Dropping furniture from the name gives the business added flexibility when launching new products, he added.

"Ultimately, we might do lighting or accessories or become a whole home products supplier. We want it to become a brand. With Hayche, the name sounds phonetically the same as before. It feels like a progression rather than a complete change."

The company sells to contract specifiers as well as through retailers such as Viaduct and Holloways of Ludlow. Mr Tanner says partnerships with more retailers are possible, as could be the opening of pop-up stores, while he said the business expects to generate 10–15 percent of its revenues from direct sales over the course of the next year.

A summer funding round is also planned with the company looking to bring in a minimum of £200,000 in return for the release of a yet-to-be finalised amount of equity.
"It will be runway for stock primarily. We've offered products in lots of finishes and lots of colours that have historically been made to order. Often interior designers and specifiers need products quickly for big projects. We need to bring lead times down from ten weeks to one."

Products are manufactured in Portugal by a factory "on a par with the amazing factories I used to work with at M&S" while a new chair programme will be launched in September, made from a factory in Italy.

"I prefer to add to the supply chain, rather than change it," he said.

Referencing his own career experience, Mr Tanner adds that Hayche "blends the design styles of Habitat and Made with the quality levels of M&S."