For large numbers of Australian householders, the name Curtain Wonderland is synonymous with attractive and stylish soft furnishings for the home. Curtain Wonderland Pty is, of course, especially well known in Queensland, where it has outlets all along the coast, especially in the Brisbane area. However, it is now very much a national brand, with numerous stores around Sydney and Perth, and now in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory as well.
Curtain Wonderland Started
Like many large retail chains, Curtain Wonderland came from modest beginnings, starting with just one store Curtain Wonderland opened in 1971 near Brisbane, by Neville Russell and his sister Pam Tacey. Concentrating initially on fabrics, selling for just 99 cents per metre, Curtain Wonderland expanded rapidly over the next 30 years, with Pam’s husband Andrew Tacey as general manager. By 2006, the company had 20 stores throughout Queensland and New South Wales, and annual sales in excess of $33 million.
This was the main reason why Curtain Wonderland caught the attention of the Western Australia-based window covering manufacturer Kresta, who were looking for expansion in the east of the country. The excellent brand recognition enjoyed by Curtain Wonderland, and the sound technology on which its operation was based made it an attractive acquisition target. Acquisition negotiations started in the early years of the 21st century, and were finalised in 2006.
Kresta had been focused on the manufacture, import and distribution of a wide range of window furnishings and components, so Curtain Wonderland complemented their offering very well, enabling Kresta to add significantly to their existing retail stores. In addition, the expertise of the staff and management team at Curtain Wonderland provided Kresta with important resources to enable them to take advantage of these growth opportunities. On the other hand, the merger proved highly beneficial to Curtain Wonderland, enabling them to extend across the continent, and become a national, rather than a regional, brand.
Meanwhile, Curtain Wonderland has diversified considerably from their original offering of inexpensive soft furnishing fabrics. Their principal focus now is on ready-made curtains and blinds, in a wide range of different styles, as well as complementary soft furnishings. As well as selling the products through their many stores across the country, Curtain Wonderland does of course have a flourishing online business.
Curtains and Blinds
The attractive curtain selection at Curtain Wonderland include sheer, translucent curtains, block-out curtains and room-darkening curtains in a variety of lovely shades, and in each of these styles you can choose either pinch pleat or eyelet curtains. Eyelet curtains suit a contemporary style of room, and have metal rings in place of header tape, providing large, soft, even pleats. Pinch pleat curtains suit a more traditional style, and provide a more luxurious and decorative look.
If you have a modern style of home, you may prefer blinds to curtains, and Curtain Wonderland have a wide range of blinds, too. You can choose from roller blinds, traditional Venetian blinds, and aluminum blinds, and they sell shutter blinds if required. The blinds, like the curtains, are ready made, but with up to 30 different sizes available, there should be no difficulty in finding the right size for your windows.
The Manchester Range
Of course, window treatments have always been the central offering at Curtain Wonderland, but nowadays their selection extends far beyond these. One of their most popular ranges is Manchester goods, which is the Australian term for textiles such as linens, sheets and cotton fabrics. They are so called because originally most linen and cotton textiles were imported from Manchester in UK, the center of the British textile industry.
The Manchester range at Curtain Wonderland includes a truly enchanting selection of quilt covers and bedspreads, in styles and colors to match virtually any bedroom decor. To go with these, Curtain Wonderland offers a wide variety of cushions in bold shades and decorative and imaginative prints. There is also a range of stunningly soft strand towels, to blend in with the bedroom fabrics.
Curtain Wonderland has certainly come a long way in the 40-plus years since its modest beginnings. The management has succeeded in gauging exactly what will appeal to the Australian public – inexpensive, but attractive, ready-made products that will add beauty to the home while requiring the minimum of effort for the purchaser. Curtain Wonderland has climbed to the top of the market and seems likely to remain there for the foreseeable future.