Founded more than 65 years ago, Barker & Stonehouse began life in the North East of England and gradually developed to become the UK’s largest independent family owned furniture retailer. During the Second World War the company’s two founders, RAF men Charles Barker and Alex Stonehouse, decided to embark on their own personal fight to succeed in business, opening the first Barker & Stonehouse store in Stockton in 1946. They were later joined by Charles’ brother, Frank Barker, when the Middlesbrough store opened later that year and the town remains the location for the company’s head office today.
Charles Barker’s son and current chairman, Richard Barker, joined in 1960 and the company is still privately owned and is now in its third generation of ownership by the family, with Richard’s son James stepping in to the role of managing director since 2004.
Barker and Stonehouse employs 275 staff over stores in Knaresborough, Leeds, Hull, Middlesbrough, Nottingham, Darlington, Newcastle, Gateshead and now London, with showroom space totalling 296,000 square feet.