* Prices may differ from that shown
I was very dissappointed when it was announced last year that the pier shop had gone into administration. A unique homeware store catering for more elite and individual people rather than the mass, with ornate artifacts and beautiful decorations for the home and garden.
I can however understand why the pier went into administration, because it was for individuals and rich ones at that! The pier was running as a shop for many years and upon entering one of the stores you would be greeted with a mass of colour and beauty. Cushions were exquisite some plain in silks and dupion and others detailed with embroidery, curtains that could be found no where else in beautiful colours, long lengths and ornate fixtures.
Candles would be sold in mass here ranging in all different colours and scents and garden ware was beautiful very indian and morrocan inspiration, with an elegance of english garden beauty about it. Christmas decorations were sold only at christmas and they were special ones which you could buy as a present for someone as one off decorations as to buy in bulk there would have been expensive. I did however buy many a glassware set or mug set which albeit pricier than the average were all unique and colourful and blue glass items could be found here with ease.
Elegant glasses for wine and decanter sets were popular and if you are lucky you may still be able to find many items online in places such as ebay or perhaps amazon? Look at second hand and auction sites and car boots as I havent found anywhere yet that has taken on the piers stock to re sale.
I enjoyed browsing this shop and always went in to have a look around whilst in town but rarely did I buy anything and I guess many people felt the same because it was a little overpriced, there sales however were fantastic and they marked items down considerably but overall for the average consumer this wasnt a feesable shop to purchase homeware in, in the current economic situation.
I love The Pier, I visited one of their shops for the first time about 4 years ago when I was browsing for some stuff for my new house and I fell in love with their stuff straight away.
They sell furniture, table and glass ware, pillows, curtains, cutlery, candles, room fragrance, incense and incense burners, candle holders, accessories like note books, mirrors and loads more.
What I loved the most, was that to me, walking around in their shop and looking at all the items made me feel like I was on holiday in some foreign country, browsing through exotic and unusual looking items. Their items are made from places all over the world; they have cutlery and vases that come from Portugal that I purchased and I love them.
I'm also in love with their scented candles, large pillar candles, room fragrance and incense. I love smelling them when I want to unwind and it really does the trick. Their candle and incense holders also look exotic, brightly coloured and adorable and I keep going to The Pier to see if they have anything new.
Their pillows and other fabric items look awesome and I love how it makes my sofa look more exotic. Their lamp shades are also very extraordinary and add atmosphere to my home.
In conclusion; I just love The Pier and have a browse in their shops every so often to see what other exquisite items I can get to enhance the mood in my home.
The Pier first opened in 1989 with their first store in Richmond-upon-Thames. They displayed their stock with straw and upturned packing crates to give the idea of a pier, with goods recently offloaded from a boat. They no longer do that, but their stores are designed to feel like a marketplace full of gorgeous and exotic finds. There are now 48 stores in the UK and an online store. They work directly with suppliers all over the world and have a buying policy which means that no prison labour or child labour is used and fair wages are paid for the locality.
The Pier recycles, keeps packaging to a minimum, and limits the use of hardwood in furniture. Where it does need to be used, they make sure it only comes from effectively managed sources. They also raise money for UNICEF through the sale of Christmas cards and other fund raising activities.
I first discovered the Pier when they opened a branch at Meadowhall in Sheffield a few months ago. I have to say it is now my favourite shop! Imagine you have travelled all over the world and brought back something from each country. That's what the Pier is like. You can buy iron peacocks, pewter perfume bottles, hand painted vases and jewelled elephant lanterns from China, or patchwork cushions, embroidered table runners and beaded jewel boxes from India. They have exquisite glasses, china, table linen and bed linen, scented candles and candle holders, dried flowers. In summer they sell garden lights, and in winter, Christmas lights and tree ornaments. Their stock is changing all the time. They also have a range of furniture on display such as papasan chairs, oak bookcases, dining furniture, but you need to order these.
Up to now these are the things I've bought:
A gorgeous blue handmade wall tapestry from India which is hanging above my bed.
A Chinese sushi set which I gave my daughter as a gift.
A satin jewel box from India with a beaded peacock on the lid.
A cane floor lamp from China.
Two Tirano oak bookshelves from China. Beautiful warm solid oak.
A Veneto solid oak tv/dvd stand from China.
Stackable black metal cd racks from China.
A satin embroidered table runner.
Twisted stem wine glasses from China.
A pearlescent stoneware dinner set.
I ordered the oak furniture online and had to wait a month for the bookcases to come into stock as they were a new range. The book cases and tv stand are self assembly, but are really easy to put together. I had to do it myself as my husband wasn't well at the time, and it was a lot easier than putting together Ikea stuff! The quality is great and the furniture is sturdy well-crafted. The bookshelves come with wall straps to stop them toppling, which is wise when there are young children around.
Delivery is not cheap though! It's £40 for large furniture items, £25 for smaller furniture that can be carried by one person, £15 for large non-furniture items such as mirrors, and £5 for small non-furniture items. If possible you are better off ordering it to be delivered to the shop, which is free, and then collecting it yourself.
If you can't get to a shop it's well worth a look online at www.pier.co.uk.
I recommend it as a place to look if you want something that little bit different, or you want to buy an unusual gift for someone. If you set your heart on some of the more expensive items, it's worth waiting for their offers. They have offers on different ranges all year round, and fantastic reductions in the sales.
Cushions, curtains, bedspreads, CD racks, vases, candles, incense, ornaments, gifts, furniture, mirrors, rugs, outdoor entertaining, clocks, picture frames, dried flowers, lighting, stationary, storage, tableware, you name it the Pier has it.
The Pier is a little known home store that have been one of my favourite home stores for some time now. Over the years I have made a number of purchases from stores, including cushions, candles, pcitures and gifts and I have always found the products of a high quality. The Pier are always more than willing to wrap your purchases for you, which is an especially nice touch if you are buying a present and I have always found the staff helpful and friendly.
The stores are relatively large, spacious and well-lit. They are generally city center based, with an Oriental/Asian twist and a little more hefty a price tag than places such as Ikea but cheaper than Next Homes for example. The products take influence primarily from Africa and Asia which makes them quite different to your average home store. Your standard candles start from about £2 up to about a tenner for the larger and more decorative types, cushions cost between £10-25, picture frames from £5 up and furniture with prices up in the £100's. The produce is high quality and individual, although admittedly the Asian/oriental touch means that it is unlikely to suit all tastes.
I've personally visited stores in central Cardiff and in Newcastle, the latter is a strange store hidden away at the back of Eldon Gardens where you could easily miss it as the shop has no outside access. There is also a store at the metro centre just outside Newcastle.
Additionally there are stores in the following locations: Aberdeen, Basingstoke, Birmingham, Bluewater (Kent), Bourmouth, Brighton, Bristol, Bromley, Cardiff, Chester, Croydon, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Guildford, Hull, Kingston Upon Thames, Leeds, Leicester, Livingston, London, Manchester, Merry Hill, Nowich, Nottingham, Reading, Romford, Southampton, Southport and Wimbleton.
If you don't live in one of the places given above or if you are a fan of online shopping than check out there website and shop online at http://www.pier.co.uk/. The website is easy to use and navigate although I have never personally bought anything from them online. You must allow up to 28 days for delivery and you must be resident in the UK unless you are willing to pay additional costs which they do not explicitly state on the website. Apparently not all items are available online because of the possibility of the breakage of delicate items during delivery which I think is fair enough. For furniture, delivery is FREE for orders over £750, otherwise there is a £30 per order. For smaller items a postage and packing charge of £4.95 or for some items £12.95 will be added to your order.
There is a seven day return policy provided goods are still in good condition. For furniture you can get a full refund if you change your mind before delivery. After delivery they will deduct £50 for re-collection
Gift vouchers are also available in-store in the usual denominations.
In summary this shop has my full recommendations and if you're up for something a little different to brighten up your home then check this out!