Sussex Beds is a family based business. Originally started by our founders John and Sandra Pickering in 1981, Sussex Beds continues to thrive and grow. Now run by John and Sandra's children and grandchildren along with other family members.
Meet Our Leadership Team.....
John & Sandra Pickering
In 1978, John and Sandra purchased a small general furnishing business trading as Miles
House Furnishers located in St Leonards.
Inspired following a visit to a trade show featuring a ‘Bed Specialist’ store concept, in
December 1981 they opened the first Sussex Beds in Hastings, East Sussex.
From these early founding days, the culture was established and centred around family
values. The purpose was clear, to improve quality of sleep by providing great product with
This remains as important and central today as the reach and team expand with stores
across south east England. We care about our people and our customers.
And for this we thank John & Sandra for their vision and legacy.
Although they’re now enjoying their semi retirement, John is still the Chairman.
Some days there is still a big chance you will meet him on the showroom floor,
which is where he loves to be, meeting and enjoying time with customers.
Creative by nature, friendly and approachable has lead the business since 2014.
Steve joined the company in 1987 starting his career on the sales floor, gaining experience
and knowledge as he moved upward through the business.
Driven and focussed, Steve has been influential in guiding the business through its award
winning success in recent years, awards recognising business acronym, customer and
team, service and care.
In his spare time you may catch him ‘treading the boards’ in various local amdram
productions and well as Producing an annual youth ‘Gang Show’ in Hastings, East Sussex.
Detailed and conscientious with a wicked sense of humour, Matt heads the Financial and
Strong financial leadership is essential in the success in any modern business. Matt and
his team have revolutionised the department over recent years ensuring continued
performance success and financial security.
A keen runner and extreme eventer, Matt has literally climbed mountains over the years
completing the 3 Peaks Challenge, London Marathon, Man vs Mountain, numerous Half
Marathons and Obstacle races. And in doing so has raised over £8,000 for charities.
The coordinator, John heads the operations and fulfilment department.
Joining the business in 1989, John started his career on the Sales floor. However swiftly
moved over to manage the distribution department utilising his organisation skills to best
A pivotal central cog to the success of the business, John also leads and project manages
our new store acquisition drive, key for us to achieve our ambitious BHAG (Big, Hairy,
Out of work, John’s passions are running, Chelsea FC and his annual trip to watch and
support Le Mans 24hr Motor Race.
Assertive and highly motivated, Sue drives the Sales department from the front.
Sue has been passionate about Sales ever since joining the family business in 1995 and
excelling on the Sales floor. Gaining experience and knowledge, Sue successfully lead
various roles in Sales-Management through to her current position as head of Sales and
Outside the office, Sue is a keen equestrian and enjoys training her horse.
Meet More Of Our Family.....
Paula is Steves wife and mum to Josh and Grace, she began her marketing career over 30 years ago training as a Graphic Designer. Her role in marketing has evolved over time but she still loves designing and the creative areas of her job.
Handling a fast growing Marketing budget for 13 stores is exciting and challenging at the same time. Paula really enjoys investigating the ever-changing media trends and creating awareness and developing the Sussex Beds brand.
In her spare time Paula loves travelling, walking her dogs and socialising with her family and friends.
Josh is the first of the third generation of the family to join Sussex Beds. After leaving secondary school in 2012, then studied sports science at college. Upon completion of his education he took a position at Debenhams to get Sales and Customer service experience.
He joined Sussex Beds in 2014 where he quickly established himself as part of the team. After 2 years on the sales floor, in 2016 Josh was awarded the position of manager at the Hailsham store. In Hailsham he proved himself to be very positive and driven in his new role.
In December 2017 Josh had the honour of opening and managing the latest store in the Sussex Beds chain at the time, our Tonbridge store. Two years later in 2019 Josh took on the role of Regional Manager of our Sussex Stores where he excelled working with store managers to ensure our stores are the best they can be.
In July 2022 Josh moved up to the position of Sales Manager, now overseeing and working with our two new regional managers as the company and team continue to expand.
Grace is the youngest child of Steve and Paula. She joined the company in 2019 as a sales consultant before quickly moving on to manage the Maidstone store as she gained experience.
In 2021 Grace was promoted to the position of buying administrator, working alongside Suzanne. She is excelling in her new positionand loves working closely with her family.
In her spare time Grace is a very sociable person and always enjoys a party, she also loves to walk her cute dog Lola, a sweet little french bulldog.
Lynn is the younger sister of the company founder John Pickering. She joined the family business in 1990, starting as a bed specialist she then moved up to her current position as the store leader of Bexhill.
In the store, she works closely with new members of staff helping to train them by sharing her knowledge and vast experience.
Lynn is very family-oriented and spends much of her spare time with her 3 granddaughters. Most weekends Lynn likes to get away in her motorhome visiting places of interest, we think she has covered most of the U.K. while on her treks.
Julie is John's wife and the most recent member of the family to join the company in September 2019 after a long career working with children.
She is currently working in our Bexhill showroom alongside Lynn and has gained a depth of knowledge and experience very quickly.
Julie loves a good chat building great rapport with customers and prides herself on her customer service.
Out of work hours you will normally find her being put through her paces with her personal trainer, out on long walks or socialising with friends and family.