Although they may divide opinion, there is no denying that these carpets scream the Wetherspoon’s brand.
Wetherspoon’s aesthetic … The Giddy Bridge, Southampton. Photograph: Adam Smith
Any national and multinational company with physical locations needs a cohesive interior design template. This usually comes in the form of standardised flat pack furniture, vinyl and laminate flooring as well as a pre-defined catalogue of allowed accessories.
UK pub chain Wetherspoon’s does things differently.
Unlike nearly every chain in the UK their carpets are chosen individually to fit in with the style and history of the pub’s location. This is done by the pub chain’s team of five or six in-house interior designers.
Are all Wetherspoon’s carpets the same?
Even the company themselves are not sure but according to the popular Tumblr page https://wetherspoonscarpets.tumblr.com/, we can assume they are all different!
The Wetherspoon’s Carpets Tumblr page encourages visitors to photograph the carpet in their local Wetherspoon’s to find out once and for all, if there are any Wetherspoon’s that have two carpets of the same kind.
The Tumblr pages publisher Kit Caless, speaking to the Guardian, said: “I read this book by a friend of mine, Will Wiles, The Way Inn; in that novel, the main character visits the same hotel chain everywhere he goes.
”In each hotel, there’s a piece of art outside the lift, and he finally figures out that the art all matches up into one big, massive art piece.
“I was reading that book while I was in a Wetherspoon pub in Canterbury, and I finished it and I just looked down at the carpet and it was really complicated. I wondered whether the carpet matched another Wetherspoon one.
“Then, I got really interested, because, for a corporate chain to not repeat itself is a really rare thing. So, I started looking into it – and it just sort of snowballed.”
To get this level of uniqueness and quality is not a cheap option. With each carpet costing anywhere in the region of £20,000 to £30,000 the minimum overall cost of fitting Wetherspoon’s over 900 pubs comes in at a staggering £18 Million. This quickly rises to a conceivable £27 million for the same 900 pubs.
However, there is good reason for this high cost; quality carpet. Each carpet is partly hand made by the renowned UK firm Axminster. According to Wetherspoons head of acquisitions and operations Jon Randall, this is because Wetherspoons carpets have many more colours than the normal five and six commonly found in off the roll “colourful” carpets. This means they have to be produced individually on old-fashioned looms!