'I started my furniture business on just £1.75 - now I'm opening a brand new shop'

Graham Naulls, owner of Simply Sofas Direct, with his wife Alison Naulls.

Graham Naulls, owner of Simply Sofas Direct, with his wife Alison Naulls and their two dogs. - Credit: Simply Sofas Direct

A founder who started his business with less than £2 to his name is now moving into a swanky new unit at an out-of-town retail hub.

Independent furniture brand Simply Sofas Direct was launched by entrepreneur Graham Naulls five years ago with just £1.75 in his pocket.

Now the business is expanding into a new home at the former Kitchenary Cookshop in Taverham.

Simply Sofas Direct is the latest independent store to open in a Taverham retail unit.

Simply Sofas Direct is the latest independent store to open in a Taverham retail unit. - Credit: Simply Sofas Direct

It comes after a growing trend of businesses creating out-of-town retail hubs in industrial estates and business estates.

The affordable furniture boffin explained: "I started off selling second-hand sofas back in 2017.

"I managed to rent a room in Dereham and built up my client base.

"With the help of my wife Alison, family and friends, it's got to the point I needed a bigger store and the unit space here is great."

He explained he made the decision based on the growing trend of industrial estates becoming their own mini high streets:"It's far cheaper to rent than somewhere in the city centre or at one of these big retail parks.

Simply Sofas Direct started off in Dereham before moving to Taverham.

Simply Sofas Direct started off in Dereham before moving to Taverham. - Credit: Simply Sofas Direct

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"There's free parking here for any customers and this site is full of independent retailers."

Graham's range of new sofas, plush scatter cushions and a range of accompanying tables all come from UK-based manufacturers.

And with the "massive" space at his disposal he says he'll be able to offer a far larger choice than before.

The Taverham man added: "We find our customers don't want to, or simply can't, afford to spend £2,000 or £3,000 on a new sofa.

Simply Sofas Direct started up back in 2017 by owner Graham Naulls.

Simply Sofas Direct started up back in 2017 by owner Graham Naulls. - Credit: Simply Sofas Direct

"We offer some of the best new and quality items for people for under a thousand pounds.

"Saving money is in the public eye right now and I hope we can help."

Graham has invested around £9,000 of his own money into the site, bringing stock over from the Dereham store.

Simply Sofas Direct offers a range of sofas, plush cushions and coffee or dinner tables.

Simply Sofas Direct offers a range of sofas, plush cushions and coffee or dinner tables. - Credit: Simply Sofas Direct

He said: "It's all looking lovely now - I'm really pleased with it.

"I haven't had a chance to stop the last couple of weeks but I'm very excited to open up and very proud of what's been accomplished so far.

"We've already had people, whether it be customers or other retailers, popping their head in while we've been refurbishing and there's been so many encouraging comments and feedback."