Scores of housewares suppliers and fellow retailers gathered at the Steamer Trading flagship store in Guildford yesterday to celebrate the company’s 25th birthday.
They heard managing director Ben Phillips pay tribute to the work of his parents David and Liz in setting up the business, and David Phillips in turn paid tribute to Ben’s work in expanding the chain – which is about to open its 25th branch.
Numbers 26 and 27 are on the way as well, with sites secured in Chester and Beverley, both of which take Steamer well beyond its traditional territory in the south-east and home counties.
Describing his love of housewares retailing, Ben Phillips said his greatest joy was seeing a customer coming out of a Lakeland store carrying a Steamer carrier bag – a remark directed wryly at Lakeland buying director Matthew Canwell, who was among the guests.
Other party-goers included Richard and Andrew Plant, Patrick Gardner, Peter Battersby, Sarah George, Helen Sparrow, David Eggison, Gary and Caroline Gordon, Pam Plant, Chris Stevens and dozens more.