A Brief History of G Plan
Date: 08-01-2015 Time: 00:00:00 Category: Design History
G Plan has long been synonymous with great design and a quality product but this trusted brands history goes back longer than the creation of the G Plan brand in the 1950s. Ebeneezer Gomme started his furniture business in 1898, and it was from this humble beginning that one of the most successful furniture manufacturers throughout the UK was to be created.
Ebeneezer set up a brand new factory in High Wycombe in 1909 and continued to grow even through several set backs. During both World Wars, the factory had to stop production and help the war effort by manufacturing aircraft. A devastating fire also broke out and the factory had to be rebuilt in 1922. Yet the Gomme family persevered and even after the death of Ebeneezer and the factories closure through the war, the business was about to come into it's hay day.
Donald Gomme, Ebeneezer's Grandson, joined the family firm in the 1930s but was soon part of the war effort himself when he was appointed as a scientific adviser for the government. Once the war had ended however he went about rebuilding the family firm and launched the G Plan we know today in 1953. Still using traditional techniques, G Plan focused on the new styles of the day and broke the rules on what was considered the norm. The name coined by Doris Gundry of the J Walter Thompson advertising agency, stood for Gomme Plan, and reflected the company idea that they had a plan for a great way of life.
The rise of G Plan was revolutionary at the time and came down to two new ideas implemented by Donald. Mass advertising and fully stocked showrooms for customers. At the time it was very unusual for manufacturers to appeal directly to its customers but this revolutionary way of advertising put consumers in the driving seat of style and new products rather than the hands of the retailers as was the norm. G Plan also pioneered the use of furniture showrooms to allow customers to 'try before you buy' as well as creating room set ups to show people how this new modern furniture would look within the home.
The strategy worked and G Plan thrived through the 50s, 60s and 70s. The company was successfully floated on the stock exchange in 1958 and has become part of the mainstay of furniture for homes in the UK. Though the Gomme family retired its share in 1987, G Plan still retains today a sense of quality, style and comfort. In 1996 the company was split into the Morris Group which gained the rights to market and make the G Plan Cabinet Furniture, while G Plan Upholstery Ltd continues to make quality sofas today.
G Plan has a great history much like our own here at Barkers and we really enjoyed researching and finding out about one of our favourite manufacturers. Check out these links for more info on G Plan and their heritage.
The G Plan Story
High Wycombe Furniture Archive
Buckingham County Council
G Plan at Barkers
A Brief History of G Plan
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