SCHREIBER Schreiber_1973_2
Schreiber was a relative newcomer to the furniture business. Chaim Schreiber came to Britain in the war years to escape Nazi persecution. He started in business by making radio cabinets and he bought a bankrupt furniture business in 1957. By 1967, he was challenging Lebus and Gomme for domination of the furniture market. In the 70s, Schreiber introduced furniture centres, taking complete control of distribution, as well as manufacture. After economic problems in the mid-seventies and a merger with GEC, the Company continued to be one of the biggest names in furniture in the 70s.Schreiber started in business making radio cabinets for Dansette and other larger electrical manufacturers. In those days, radios were either polished wood veneered or wooden covered with leather cloth. Schreiber learnt to make good quality and cheap cabinets to exacting specifications. The large electrical manufacturers controlled the market and demanded the cheapest possible prices. Schreiber needed to develop a manufacturing process that could deliver the best quality at the cheapest prices.
 This business was doing well, but Schreiber wanted to break away from the control of these large organisations. In 1957, with the profits he made from radio cabinets, he bought the bankrupt furniture maker, Lubetkin. He scrapped the name and made his own furniture.In the mid-sixties, he made bedroom furniture using a technique he called ‘furniture engineering’. His furniture was at the cheaper end of the market. He entered the growing built-in bedroom market in the late ‘sixties. His bedroom storage furniture was finished in teak. He was slightly behind the fashion in the late 60s, but nevertheless, the business was so successful that he was able to buy Greaves and Thomas in 1967, adding a quality name to the Schreiber Empire. Although Schreiber achieved huge success in the late 60s, the Company really came to prominence in the early 70s. By then, Schreiber had an established reputation at the cheaper end of the market.The one revolutionary aspect of Schreiber furniture was the shape of the drawersSchreiber was able to make good furniture cheaper than any other company. Unlike G-Plan, he never employed a designer, but copied and adapted other designs. The one revolutionary aspect of Schreiber furniture was the shape of the drawers. They were curved for easy fitting. The main reason for his outstanding success in the early ‘seventies was his manufacturing skills.By 1970, his turnover was ahead of that of Gomme. Schreiber’s main competitor in the early ‘seventies would have been Lebus, but their spectacular failure left the market open.The furniture market of the early ‘seventies split neatly into two sections: well-designed, but expensive furniture and furniture sold mainly on price. There was very little in between. Gomme was a master of design, Schreiber a master of price. These two firms exemplified the different marketing philosophies. Both were hugely successful.Teak dining furniture also remained popular in all sections of the market. As mentioned earlier, Gomme continued to sell teak furniture successfully. Schreiber also made dining room furniture with a teak finish. Their Tivoli sideboard was very popular; it was simple, modern and inexpensive. The finish, however, was synthetic. Leer más…





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