Matt Davies at Recliners
Matthew Davies, Director of Recliners, alongside a display of the firm’s product range

Thriving Welsh mobility furniture firm Recliners has enjoyed a busy 2023, increasing its product offering, launching new products and expanding on its dealership to meet rising demand. THIIS speaks to Matthew Davies, Director of Recliners, to find out more…

Bespoke mobility furniture manufacturer Recliners is located in the heart of the South Wales valleys. The firm manufactures riser recliner furniture for domestic and healthcare markets in both the public and private sector, so its products can be found anywhere from household living rooms to hospital waiting areas. The firm employs 42 people with the majority of those from the local community. Matthew Davies talks to THIIS to explain more…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

“I joined the business in 2007 when the company was considerably smaller than it is today. My first role consisted of assisting with deliveries, general housekeeping and fetching and carrying components. In my time at Recliners I have carried out the roles of product assembler, product upholsterer, quality control, production manager, general manager and I became a director of Recliners in 2018. It’s fair to say I know the business inside out!

“I had very little experience in the mobility industry until I joined Recliners. I had never imagined myself working in the mobility industry but my diverse experience working within the company, as well as working with industry professionals throughout my career, has given me and the Recliners team all the knowledge and expertise required to deliver a high quality product and service.”

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Recliners warehouse in WalesWhat are the hero products at Recliners?

“Recliners has a diverse portfolio of products, which has been pivotal to our success, especially with the challenges we have faced since 2020.

“Our Ecoflex model is a staple to the Recliners business; its modular design and adjustability have made it a local authority tender winner for over five years. The Ecoflex provides a medium-risk pressure solution, which can accommodate high-risk needs using the interchangeable seat module. The seat height and depth can be adjusted quickly allowing a single chair to fit a multitude of users, making it perfect for community settings.

Cutting process of chairs, Recliners factory
South Wales has been an epicentre for furniture manufacture since the 80s

“The Ecoflex was also designed with sustainability in mind, as each component can be purchased separately and replaced. We provide frequent training sessions to community store engineers to do this. This process reduces the number of units being discarded to landfill – something that happens far too often with other chairs on the market.

“Our Express Domestic range has also shown significant popularity since its 2019 introduction. We supply two sizes (Classic and Petite), available in both single and dual tilt-in-space and in five colour choices. The Express Domestic range particularly suits a dealer who cannot hold lots of stock but wants to sell to a customer there and then and have it replaced as quickly as possible.”

What are the latest products to come out from Recliners?

“For the first quarter of 2023, we will be introducing the adjustable seat height and depth facility to our Harmony model. This will provide greater functionality to a popular, existing healthcare model.

“Our Tempo model is another new product. It features a fold-down footboard that moves to a slide-out foot plate, improving the user’s experience during transport.

“We continuously analyse our product range in line with our customers’ requirements, so there may be other changes soon. Keep an eye out for our bariatric and mediatric range in 2023.”

What do you think makes Recliners products stand out in the market?

Ecoflex at Recliners
The Ecoflex chair

“The high-quality standards of our UK-made products. South Wales has been an epicentre for furniture manufacture since the 80s, and we are able to draw on a community of professionals with innate knowledge of the industry. Our team has many years’ experience in the manufacturing industry, and this, combined with our meticulously designed products, sets a high standard of quality at an affordable price.

“Our products are designed with the end-user in mind, and we seek continual feedback from our customers to ensure that our products meet their needs.

“We are also able to offer bespoke chairs where required and our talented research and development team have the capabilities to accommodate most customers’ requests. This is essential in the complex seating side of our business, as end-users’ needs are not something that can be accommodated with an off-the-shelf product.

“Our domestic products are available in a set selection of sizes chosen from the popular specification choices. The set size offering allows us to stock common products to reduce the lead time to the end-user. Bespoke sizes are also available. We aim to provide a quality product at an affordable price and in a reasonable time scale.”

How are Recliners products distributed in the UK?

“Our products are distributed around the UK via a network of mobility dealers. We have a great presence in the north and Scotland area, and order volume continues to increase year on year. We are looking to expand more into the south of the country over the next 12 months.”

Are you looking to expand your dealer network?

“Yes! In 2021 industry lead times extended to a scale that I’ve not seen in my career. Since then we have managed to reduce those lead times by investing in lean manufacturing, which has allowed us to expand our output with no increase in staff.Recliners upholstery

“We welcome all dealers interested in a high-quality, affordable product combined with exceptional customer service. We have a highly motivated team who are passionate about the product we make.”

How did Recliners manager to navigate external challenges in the past year, such as shipping delays?

“Since 2020 we have seen numerous challenges throughout our industry, whether it be from COVID-19, shipping delays, the effects of the war in Ukraine, or many other factors.

“We continuously review our product and service for ways to improve and also keep up to date on industry news and wider current affairs in order to mitigate potential effects to our service. We are in continuous communication with our customers with any form of updates, good or bad, as some things are out of our control. Communication is key during these times to manage the expectations of our customers and our customers’ customers.”Recliners holding area

Have there been any stand-out products you feel most proud of at Recliners?

“There are two standout projects that have been key to our progression in recent years: our investment in lean manufacturing and our award of ISO 9001 and 14001 accreditation.

“Lean is an ongoing project that will never end for us, as we strive for continuous improvement and development. It has seen us knock down walls, paint walk ways, create shadow boards and map every single process here at Recliners to review and improve where possible to optimise efficiency. This level of expansive thinking has allowed Recliners to increase capacity with no increase in employees.

“We were accredited to ISO 9001 and 14001 in 2021. This accreditation signifies our efficiency as a business, demonstrating adherence to our quality and environmental responsibilities. What once was a small factory unit of three people is now a fully accredited and thriving business, improving week on week.”

Sewing at the Recliners factory
Recliners’ factory in the Rhondda Valley holds a skilful team that work seamlessly together

What’s coming next for Recliners over the next 12 months?

“Continuous improvement of our products and process. We will increase order volume to expand our Recliners team and continue to provide the best product and service possible for our customers and their customers.

“2023 will see a new customer login portal added to our recently revamped website, which will contain such things as announcements, price lists, resources and much more.”

Recliners factory

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We respect your privacy McIvorNewsroomSupplier SpotlightTrade Focusaccess,furniture,Mobility,Recliners,Supplier Spotlight,WalesThriving Welsh mobility furniture firm Recliners has enjoyed a busy 2023, increasing its product offering, launching new products and expanding on its dealership to meet rising demand. THIIS speaks to Matthew Davies, Director of Recliners, to find out more… Bespoke mobility furniture manufacturer Recliners is located in the heart of...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals