The heart-breaking calls Alpha receive occasionally are ‘We bought new chairs only 10 years ago (not from you) and are starting again!’
There can be several reasons for the U-turn, such as:
- Bought chairs that were too cheap/falling apart/poor quality
- Chairs now the wrong colour/impractical finishes following an increase in different uses
- Bought non-stacking chairs, or chairs that don’t stack high enough
- Sometimes this can just be sheer bad luck, e.g. moving from pews to chairs and being surprised at the speed at which the range of use for the space has changed or increased
The most common reason however, is ‘we bought chairs that are too heavy’.
“So how do we avoid chair regret?”
We always encourage folk to think long-term if they are not doing so already. It’s important to consider how you desire to use the space in the long-term, who will be moving the chairs, and how often. We regularly receive feedback during the trial period that a high proportion of the congregation like the most comfortable chair (surprise surprise!) but have not given consideration to its practicality.
Sometimes folk will buy stacking chairs and move them occasionally for the first few years. Fast-forward 10 years and the new flexibility has generated more ideas, which have led to more frequent moving and so on. Busy use of the space is a marvellous situation in theory, but unless the chairs are light and robust, and stack efficiently enough, it can become a rod for one’s back.
Of course, selecting new stacking chairs is always a balance of comfort, weight, looks, cost and optional features. Sometimes folk are expecting something big and plush, or very traditional looking. Of course, if flexibility is crucial (and it normally is) then a more contemporary, lightweight stacking chair may be the appropriate route.
Alpha have a wide range of light weight chairs, high density stacking chairs, faculty friendly chairs and even lightweight wooden chairs.
Our Jacob wooden stacking chair for instance will stack 20 high on a dolley, even with built-in book storage fitted.
“So how do we go about selecting the right chair for us?”
Fortunately Alpha Furniture have you covered. Our excellent website is always a great place to start, though we also encourage folk to get on the phone and speak to one of our experienced chair experts. In most instances, customers have already compiled a shortlist of chairs they’d like to borrow. This could have been through browsing our website, having seen chairs in another church, or even having gone through a similar process at a previous church. We will listen to the priorities and the vision, and can suggest additional chairs to be borrowed.
Which brings us onto Alpha’s market leading sample trial service. Free of charge and without obligation, we will drop chairs off with you – most often in person. Seeing the location ourselves is a great help, allowing us to gain more of a feel for the project and may even provoke further thoughts on which chairs to trial. Arriving in person means that we usually have ‘spare’ chairs with us that we can leave in addition, or even take away some chairs on the day if they are ruled out instantly having experienced the weight.
Contact us today to discuss the options with our team and get started!