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I discovered the White Company quite by chance when I searched online for premium quality bedding. Having browsed through their website I can honestly say that there are so many things I could buy from them that I may as well have my husband's salary sent straight there! So far I've only bought bedding, towels and children's clothing from them and I've been hugely impressed by the quality of everything I've received thus far. I bought my two boys complete bedding sets from their childrens range and the orders arrived extremely quickly. I then bought two new duvet sets for our bed and can't wait to use them (I'm saving them for when we move house!) Every item of children's clothing has been great - good quality, soft materials and well made. The prices at the White Company are on the steep side I have to admit - particularly the luxury bedding where a King size duvet cover alone can set you back well over a hundred pounds, but the quality is fabulous and the cotton so soft that it feels like silk. They do seem to have good sale reductions, so it's well worth buying while the sale is on, though you have to be quick as the good stuff sells like hot cakes! They're fast becoming my favourite shop for linen and children's clothing - my baby son seems to have a wardrobe full of "Little White Company" clothing. Maybe I'll try the women's clothing next...I can feel my credit card aching already!
Very disappointed to have to give up on an order of the White Company's new white glass Carlton range of furniture. Paid top dollar for this (full amount in advance required) and was quoted a lead time of 4 - 6 weeks. 11 weeks, numerous phone calls all initiated by me, frustration, unfufilled assurances of delivery dates and the apparent complete lack of organisation or communication between this company's various departments, stores and manufacturers has lead me to give up .. life is too short and there is just as lovely furniture out there from companies who value and care about their customers! Take my advice and leave this company to sort itself out before you order anything too expensive. I won't be ordering anything ever again which is a real shame because I used to love the arrival of a new White Company catalogue.
The White Company London is an upmarket seller of homewear, gifts, nightwear, clothing, bath and body, scents and selective furniture. It also caters to children and babies with beautiful gifts, clothes, toys and room accessories and bedding. If you simply can't choose, you can send someone boxed gift vouchers so they can select at leisure. They have around 27 stores and concessions around the country, so there's not one on every corner, but that's quite nice. They do have brochures and a website, and you can request your item to be gift wrapped. Their style is very clean and..... white! No loud colours here, they really live up to their name. Shades are soft and natural, so you can really go with the theme. Gifts are special and range from scented candles, cashmere hot water bottle covers, white leather wash bags, silver plated photo frames for the ladies, or shearling gloves, leather travel wallet or suede slippers for the man in your life. Children and babies don't get left out - they could choose from glitter sparkle fairy wings, a floral hobby horse or cozy pj's. Or maybe your friend would love those cashmere cable-knit booties for her new arrival. All very tasteful, you really can't go wrong. The women's clothing is very relaxed but classy. Plenty of posh jersey, knitwear and accessories, in co-ordinating colours and sizes extra small to extra large. Prices are not cheap, but not designer scale either. A cashmere cable v-neck tunic will set you back £125, or a button-cuff dress £85. They often do 10% off or free delivery, and have seasonal sales, so it's worth subscribing to receive their e-mails. Delivery from their website is from £4.95 and up to £9.95 for next day which I really grudge paying, so I wait for discount offers or pop into the one in town. You can return items bought online to their store to save you return postage if you like. Their Christmas stock is worth a look. All in all a lovely calming shop. Not your cheap end prices, but you are paying for the quality here.
I use the White Company primarily for its pretty children's clothes, primarily its nightwear. They make a lovely assortment of pyjamas, pretty nighties, fluffy dressing gowns and lovely soft slippers. They are better known for their bed linen and towels but also sell women's clothing, all of which is of a lovely quality if at the expensive end of the scale. I also use their website at christmas to buy lovely scented candles and christmas decorations. My deliveries have always been on time and well presented.
Appalling customer service, slow delivery and lack of communication means I will not be ordering from The White Company again. I placed a telephone order for a gift voucher as a birthday gift. I allowed much more than the 5 working days quoted for delivery, in order for the voucher to arrive in time for my neice's birthday. Over 4 weeks later and several attempts to track the voucher, it arrived in the post. No apology, no communication between customer service representatives and no concrete reason for the delay other than "technical difficulties". How technical and difficult must it be to print and post a piece of paper and put it in their unecessarily fancy box. In addition, the item my neice had her eye on, sold out in the meantime. Again, no recompense or satisfactory outcome. The website gives a John Lewis/M&S impression of quality. They are far, far from this in terms of customer satisfaction and appear disinterested in amending this shortfall. Be warned!
The White Company have stores across the UK- see the following link to find the nearest one to you: http://www.thewhitecompany.com/content.aspx?DepGrpCode=HOM&CntCode=help_shops They also have a website which as far I as I have seen has everything on there that you can get in store. See http://www.thewhitecompany.com/. Both sell a mixture of homewares including bed linen and home accerssories e.g. frames, vases, home fragrances as well as clothing e.g. cashmere jumpers, cotton tees. The quality of the products is of a really good standard but you definately pay for it. A good example is the Hampton chest of drawers which retail at £495, a similar Hemnes style from Ikea is under £100. For that reason, it is worth signing up to receive the catelogue or email alerts as you get normally get a discount of around 10% for this. Alternatively, Quidco does a 10% cash back on White Company products (see www.quidco.com)
The White Company is a very special mail order company. I say special because it is one of my favourite. Born from a gem of an idea and similar in many ways to the start of companies like Innocent Smoothies. Its founder Chrissie Rucker started the company in 1993 when a gap in the market was noted. Family members had found difficulty buying good quality bed linen and towels and so their mail order business was born. Chrissie's husband Nick Wheeler runs the mail order business Charles Tyrwhitt shirts. From these early days with orders being dispatched from home and taken to the Post Office in the back of the founder's Mini- Metro when they were between 3 and 10 a day the company now has grown to generate sales of £80m to March 09. If you go onto their website to the "about us" page you can read the wonderful story of how they started the buisness with no advertising budget-it makes gripping reading for anyone dreaming of starting their own business empire! So why are they so special? If you have ever watch Anthea Turner on "The Perfect Housewife" you will know she has some really interesting tips to give people on how to run their homes. I have to say life is not like that. Some of her tips are well to say the least a bit too hard for me to achieve with a business and a family to run not to mention all my pets. However she did once say there is nothing like crisp white bed linen- she is right and that is where this company can help! I went onto their website recently to see if any of their linen sheets were reduced and they had some in the web offers section which you can click onto if you go to the top right hand corner of the home page. You can also shop with them through the cash back site Quidco which gives you extra discount. I bought some linen sheets and a duvet cover and they arrived very quickly in under a week. When they arrived I can honestly say I have never had such a good sleep in them in my life. The quality is superb and the bed looks immaculate! (Well it does until my little shih tzu jumps onto it in the morning!) I had been admiring their range of 100% linen bedclothes for ages but the price was expensive. The duvet cover was £130 so with the credit crunch there was no way I was going to be able to pay that but under the web offers section it was reduced to £65 for the double size. It washes beautifully and actually needs very little ironing. You aren't supposed to tumble it but I line dry and then tumble for the last 5 minutes. They have a wonderful selection of bed linen in cotton as well and there are pillows and duvets as well as many other household things. The main emphasis is on white but some other neutral colours have crept in over the years but mostly it is a white wonderland! The towels in particular are very high quality. I am starting to appreciate the calm nature of white in a house having had many years of flowery walls and chintz! This catalogue is full of ideas and each product I am sure will be good quality. I first discovered them when I went to visit my mum and dad and noticed how their linen seemed to be so much fresher and crisper looking than mine and their towels were fluffy and soft. When mum handed me their catalogue I never looked back! In conclusion I would say this is a great retailer but unless you are feeling well off you may like to look at the web offers or wait for the further sales they have twice a year. They now have 18 UK stores so you may like to visit one. I can highly recommend them. Their website is: www.thewhitecompany.com
One of the disadvantages of living in a village near a small country town is that the sort of shop that sells basic bedding and robust towels tends to be quite a treck away. True, there is a shop which sells beautiful linen and towels but it's all a bit delicate and pretty-pretty for our lifestyle. I used to make an annual trip into Leeds before I discovered The White Company. I first noticed them in 1994 when I found one of their catalogues enclosed with some shirts that I'd ordered for my husband from Charles Tyrwhytt. The lady who founded The White Company is the wife of the founder of the shirt company. There, in the catalogue, were the plain sheets and duvets that I wanted and some of the largest towels that I'd ever seen. In the early days most of the goods sold were in white. Other colours have been introduced, but white is still the predominant colour that you'll notice in the catalogue. It's all very tasteful. My first order was for a jumbo bath towel and a duvet cover. I completed the form and sent it off to their warehouse on an industrial estate in Greenford and waited. Then I waited some more. These were the days before on-line credit card statements and it was just good luck that I received a statement showing that my card had been debited some ten days earlier. I rang and asked what had happened. It wasn't an easy call as I was made to feel as though this was somehow my fault. I'd given my full address including post code and whoever had processed the order had found the post code on their database, so the order had been sent to their existing customer. The parcel was to be collected by a courier, returned to The White Company and then sent out to me. Apparently it could not be done in any other way. Eventually the parcel arrived. On balance it was worth the wait. The towel is the sort that small children use to make large tents and it's still hung over the bathroom to wel rail. The quality is excellent and the price was less than I would have paid had I been able to find the same size in the shops. The current price for the 118cm by 180cm towel is £25. The duvet cover was for the spare bed and it looked clean and fresh. All the bed linen ranges are 100% cotton, in understated designs but as I was to find they are of variable quality. Flushed with the eventual success of my first order I went on to buy a king-size duvet cover and pillow slips in a design called "Self Stripe". In the catalogue it looks soft and comfortable, but it proved to have a slight nap on the fabric which made it feel slightly prickly. I was conscious of this, but in fairness my husband was not. It took many months of washing before it reached the "comfortable softness" stage. Several years later I was considering buying a duvet from their gingham range and rang to ask if this would have the same problem. I was told that the gingham range was "a much better quality". It is too. If you order a duvet cover you might like to consider the fact that they all have button closures. For some people they can be fiddlier than the more usual snap closures. They can also be a problem if, like me, you have a dog who thinks that buttons on a duvet cover are a delightful snack! Where The White Company excel is in their Linen Cupboard range. These are the base sheets, duvets, mattress protectors and all the other things that you need, but don't see. I have a combination duvet which is in two parts so that you can choose how warm you want to be throughout the year. It's even survived the fact that one of our dogs has tried chewing the corners so that she can get the filling out. (She discovered that she could create a snow storm with another duvet and now tries to repeat the trick with any she can get her teeth into!) A king-sized combination duvet costs £95, just slightly cheaper than the co mparable duvet sold by John Lewis, at £99. I'd been pleased with the fitted base sheet from the Linen Cupboard range so when we acquired a new bed for the spare bedroom which required deeper fitted sheets than we possessed I didn't think of looking anywhere else. I did, however, think to ring and ask what depth of mattress the sheets would fit. I was told that they would fit up to a nine inch depth. On the basis of this I ordered two, only to find that they would not fit that depth of mattress by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately The White Company will only accept returns if the goods are unused and in their original packaging. I'd washed the sheets and destroyed the packaging before I realised I had a problem, but my friend loves her free sheets. So far all my orders had been done by post, but earlier this year I decided to use the website at www.thewhiteco.com to take advantage of one of the periodic reductions on most of their stock. I wanted some towelling dressing gowns for my grandchildren because they were cheaper than the material would cost if I made them myself. I ordered another jumbo bath towel and a few of their toiletries to use as gifts. Postage is a rather expensive £4.95, but it was a quite substantial order, so I wasn't too worried. I placed the order, gave my credit card details and sat back. There was no email confirming my order, but not every site issues them. Three weeks later I emailed to ask when I could expect my order. It took a while, but back came the reply "you have not placed an order since?" and naming a date in the previous year. I might use them again, but I wouldn't be willing to rely on anything they told me. I'd also be a bit sceptical about the variable quality and I wouldn't be willing to order other than by mail. In fact, I might even have a trip into Leeds, where, coincidentally, they now have a shop. If you'd like a catalog ue (and despite all that I've said it is worth a look) you can get one by ringing 0870 9000 9555 or clicking on http://www.thewhiteco.com/ and following the link to "Catalogue request". You never know it might be all white on the night!