15% off your first order |
Order now in time for Christmas
Save up to 15% when you buy 4+ dining chairs
Rated excellent on Trustpilot ★★★★★
Stockton - 1946

1946

Setting up shop.

It’s 1946 and the Second World War has just come to an end. But for two young RAF men, a new mission is about to take off.

Charles Barker and Alex Stonehouse both started work at Binns - the region's top department store at the time - before they set about creating a furniture store aimed at delivering a little pizzazz to a weary post-war Britain and opened their first store in Stockton on Tees.

1947

Making waves.

Encouraged by a phenomenally successful first year of trading, the partners opened a second store on Newport Road in Middlesbrough and Charles' brother, Frank Barker joined them.

Frank had a strong background in advertising with a particular talent for writing copy, he really made a difference to the business and helped transform the building into a high class furniture store.

Some of Frank's original advertisements are a poignant reminder of an entirely different era, they would be considered quaint now but in their day they were cutting edge and hugely successful.

1961

The family continues to grow.

The next store to open was Redcar and Charles' son, current Chairman, Richard Barker joins the company to manage it.

By 1974 Richard has bought Frank and Alex's shares, becoming managing director and bringing a contemporary vision and ambitious growth plans

Linthorpe Road Middlesbrough - 1977
Newcastle Store - 1983

1983

Heading north.

The company took a big leap in 1983, opening a new store on Newgate Street in Newcastle.

By chance, Callers - the cities largest furniture store closed down at the same time so Mr Barker employed many of its experienced staff which proved a big success. They were an excellent team who helped the rapid progress in making a big impression on the retail landscape of the city.

1987

Times are changing.

During the eighties, out-of-town shopping began to flourish and the Middlesbrough branch was the first to move premises off the high street to an old bakery factory on Cannon Street Retail Park.

It was a major shop change for the company, having showroom space of 35,000 sq ft and a 15,000 sq ft warehouse which was absolutely vast and very unlike local competitors. Even their bankers at the time struggled to accept that this was the future of retailing and the Barkers had to do a lot to convince them!

Cannon Park proved highly successful and was home to our Middlesbrough showroom and head office right up until 2015 when we moved to our current building at Teesside Park.

Website - 1966

1996

Welcome to the web.

After a huge success in store, we launched our very first website for customers all over the UK to see what we had to offer. This proved to be a smart move and we've come a long way since then. Today, we have an extensive catalogue of products available online and a whole team of staff dedicated to our growing web presence.

We also took a step into Yorkshire, opening another new out-of-town store on St James Retail Park in Knaresborough.

2002Good things come in threes.With further expansion into Yorkshire and the Midlands, we opened three stores just several years apart - Leeds in 2002, Hull in 2005 and Nottingham in 2008. Each of these stores are on retail parks due to the popularity of out of town shopping: extra space and plenty of parking.
2012Introducing Knaresborough.In December 2012 we opened our first, purpose built, out of town store in Knaresborough and celebrated with a vintage themed launch party. We’re proud to say it’s one of the greenest retail stores in the UK – our commitment to sustainability runs throughout the design, which includes a ‘living roof’ covered in grass and home to a variety of wildlife and insects. We also installed natural lighting in the store, and an innovative heat recovery system.
Battersea - 2013

Shoppers can also take a break from the fun and refuel at the luxurious Chadwick & Co Coffee House and Kitchen, located on our second floor. With a wealth of restaurant experience behind him, top regional chef Daryl Chadwick serves up fresh, local produce all year round. Stop by during the warmer months and you can even enjoy the outdoor terrace.

An important aspect of the store’s design, fantastic green credentials include the only ‘living wall’ in Teesside, which was fitted with 14,000 plants and is sustained by a 6,000 litre tank of harvested rainwater. Our Teesside branch also benefits from low-energy heating, a unique lighting system and a planted roof. To top it off, solar panels generate almost half of the store's electricity, reducing carbon footprint by an incredible 46%.

2017Hello Hove.Our tenth UK store opened in Hove on April 1st and we were joined for the day by special guest George Clarke; architect and presenter of TV shows including Amazing Spaces and The Restoration Man.

The store features many eco-friendly credentials including the use of reclaimed and recycled materials throughout the building.

2018

Greetings from Guildford.

Our Guildford store opened its doors on December 16th 2018 – just in time for Christmas! An instant hit, it clocks up more than 10,000 happy customers in its first year.

Boasting 42,000 sq. ft of fabulous furniture, the store invested in the latest technology to make navigating its signature room sets a breeze. What’s more, the in-store Queensbury Café is open 7 days a week, serving up exceptional hot and cold drinks alongside freshly baked goods and sandwiches. Their menu includes delicious vegan and gluten-free options, too.

Located on the site of an old Fire Station in Ladymead, Guildford is our third store to open in the south. It is handily positioned near the A25 and the A3, as well as being easily accessible from the M25. You’ll find plenty of free parking spaces on-site, as well as bus routes and two train stations nearby.

Designed with sustainability and environmental welfare in mind, our Guildford branch has earnt a Very Good BREEAM rating, which we are especially proud of. Among its star features is a living wall on the exterior of the building that makes the perfect haven for flora, fauna and wildlife. Inside, we’ve installed energy-saving lighting and thermal insulation for optimum efficiency.

2018

Delivering the goods.

Introduced in 2018, our state-of-the-art logistics system does away with paper entirely to ensure highly efficient real-time communication between warehouse, driver, customers and our HQ. Logging each step of the way, the result is better customer service, as well as maximum deliveries made per fuel consumed – so it’s kinder on the environment, too.

To serve growing demand and assist deliveries, we unveil our first warehouse in the south. Benefitting from the latest computerised warehousing technology, the 54,000 sq. ft. distribution centre allows staff to use real-time stock management, meaning we can deliver furniture even quicker! Located in Crawley, West Sussex, it makes reaching our nationwide fanbase easier than ever.

2021

Carbon neutral plus.

We’re delighted to say that Barker and Stonehouse has become a Carbon Neutral Plus company and, as far as we know, we are the first UK furniture retailer of our type to do so.

This has been several years in the making and has been achieved by continually reducing our carbon output due to vigilance on heating, lighting, wastage and by numerous initiatives and investments. These have included the use of solar panels, better delivery routing and how we have designed and constructed our stores with the environment firmly front of mind.

This Carbon Neutral status has been verified by an independent specialist company, who, not only granted us carbon neutral status, but also Carbon Neutral PLUS, due to the work we have done over the last ten years with our reforestation programme in Indonesia with the Trees4Trees organisation.

This is a journey that doesn’t just end now we’ve reached this status. We will continue to work hard to find ways of making greater improvements to our environmental performance in all areas of our business.

2021A new chapter.December 2021 saw our very first concession stores open. In partnership with Fenwick, we introduced a specially curated selection of Barker and Stonehouse pieces to their Bentalls store in Kingston and their flagship Fenwick store in Newcastle. This is a collaboration that we're extremely proud of, given the similarities in our long-standing family brands. From rich history rooted in the Northeast to a passion for British heritage, we have many things in common.

2023

Gateshead grand opening.

Spring 2023 brought about some huge changes within the business, as we were thrilled to finally open the doors to our brand-new Gateshead store! Designed with sustainability at its heart, this impressive 50,000 sq. ft retail space is home to a host of designer brands, an in-house bistro and our very first co-working lounge.

Following two exciting VIP preview events, our stunning store was opened with a bang on Friday 7th April. Special guest Joanna Lumley cut the ribbon and then took to the stage for a Q&A with award-winning journalist and North East TV presenter, Pam Royle.

And the changes don't stop there - we also transformed our Metro Retail Park location into an outlet store, filled with hundreds of beautiful bargains ready to take away with you.