Surging exports prompts job creation at furniture specialist

James Mercy, Stewart Coles, Nicola Pearce and Joe Duffell

Surging exports as far afield as Australia have seen an office furniture specialist take on 30 staff and expand into new premises.

JDD Furniture, which designs and manufactures its own products, was founded by Walsall schoolfriends James Mercy and Joe Duffell in 2009.

It had already quadrupled its staff from five to 20 between 2017 and 2019, at which stage Thursfields Solicitors helped it to open a new London showroom and move into a bigger warehouse.

JDD has since increased its workforce to more than 50 in the last three years, resulting in its latest move into 18,000 sq ft of space at Units 17B-20B on the Cookley Wharf Industrial Estate, off Leys Road in Brierley Hill.

Stewart Coles, a director in the commercial real estate team at Thursfields, led the team advising JDD on its ten-year lease for the new premises.

He said: “JDD has grown substantially in the last few years with fast-growing exports across the world. We’re delighted to have been able to help them with legal advice on their latest move and now look forward to watching their ongoing success.”

Mercy, a co-director of JDD, whose head office and design studio is on Carver Street in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, explained that the company specialises in bespoke, high-quality furniture for modern, open plan offices.

One of the firm’s most popular products is bespoke furniture for office “dens”, enabling staff to both relax and work in break-out areas.

He revealed that the company’s multimillion-pound turnover had increased by nearly 130% in the last financial year, resulting in the need for extra staff in all its teams, from design to upholstery, and from finance to sales.

Mercy said: “Joe and myself have enjoyed establishing a skilled team and have experienced substantial growth in the last few years.

“We have expanded by taking the manufacturing side in-house rather than outsourcing, and the number of employees has rocketed from a handful to what is now more than 50 people.

“We now distribute our products around the world, including as far as Australia, and one of our next steps is looking to establish a manufacturing arm in Australia to save having to ship goods so far.”

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