Dreams (bed retailer)

Dreams (bed retailer)
Type Limited
Industry Furniture retailing and manufacturing
Founded 1985
Headquarters United Kingdom
Key people Mike Clare (Non-executive president)
Products Beds
Bedroom furniture
Revenue £194m GBP (2008)
Owner(s) Exponent Private Equity
Website www.dreams.co.uk

Dreams is a UK bed retailer and manufacturer with over 200 stores throughout the United Kingdom. Its head office is located in Loudwater, High Wycombe.




In 1985 Mike Clare opened the 'Sofa-bed' shop in Uxbridge. In 1987 the ‘Sofa-bed’ shop was renamed Dreams and the business opened its first Head Office and warehouse in High Wycombe.


In 1990 the first Dreams franchise opened in the Isle of Wight and the store estate totalled nine stores. Two years later the store estate had grown to 12 stores. By 1994 the number of stores within the estate had reached 17. In 1996 the head office moved to Knaves Beech, High Wycombe and the store estate had increased to 22. In 1998 Dreams added a second distribution depot in Crawley and the company’s trading name changed to Dreams Plc. At this point the Dreams store estate was 37 stores.


54 stores made up the Dreams estate at this point. Their first website was launched this year. With 67 stores in 2002 Dreams added its own mattress factory and expanded its operations by opening five stores in Wales.

By 2003 100 stores were within the estate. In 2005 the business launched its first ecommerce website in 2005 and had 120 stores. 150 stores by 2006 and their bed factory in Oldbury, West Midlands opened in this year. Operations expanded in to Scotland in 2006 as nine stores opened. A training academy was opened in Wednesbury in 2007 to support 160 stores and by 2008 Dreams had 200 stores and was purchased by private equity firm, Exponent. By the end of 2009 Dreams had 220 stores and over 1700 employees.



In 1995 Dreams started to recycle its customer’s old beds and mattresses and in 2004 began to backhaul the packaging from products delivered to customers on the company's delivery vehicles for recycling.

In 2005 the diversion from landfill grew to 180 tonnes and metal and wood have been added to the recycling waste streams. More recently the company invested in two state-of-the-art bed shredders to recover metal, wood and other material. As mattresses are a difficult waste stream to handle at civic authority and landfills sites, the recycling work initiated by Dreams has seen 55,000 beds shredded over the past year and diverted from landfill.[1]

Internet presence

Dreams has operated on the internet since 2000. In 2005 the website became transactional and added an additional area to its website in the form of My Dreams]in September 2009 to provide more information to its customers about sleep and dreams.


On 16 October 2006 Dreams set up its own bed 84,000 square foot (7,800 m2) bed factory on the Granada Trading Estate in Oldbury, West Midlands. Producing a number of own brand mattresses and divan beds.


Dreams sponsors the Dreams Stand at Adams Park, the home of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club and London Wasps, as well as providing sponsorship for Celebrity Big Brother. It has also sponsored the tv series Heartbeat.


Dreams was named National Bed Retailer of the Year in 1994 and Furniture Retailer of the Year in both 1996 and 2000.[2] In 2008, the company won the High Street Recycling Champion award.[3]


Investigations in to the business's operations have been conducted by the UK's Office of Fair Trading in 1998[4] and again in 2001[5], due to contracts in breach of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. Following customer complaints, the company was also investigated and featured on BBC's Watchdog programme.[2] In response to this matter Dreams made an apology on the programme.

In 2007, Dreams was investigated and censured by the Advertising Standards Agency for misleading claims in its promotional material.[6]. In 2010, another complaint against Dreams was upheld by the ASA, which ruled that Dreams' advertising broke the rules regarding truthfulness, and contained misleading advertising without evidence to back up its claims. [7]


External links