Bob Reid [sic] has died after giving a lifetime of energy, enthusiasm and ideas to the carpet industry. His engaging and endearing approach means he will be leaving many friends for whom his memory will be enduring.
Bob was one of the big personalities of the carpet business. Diane Martin, director of The Stocklists, heard from Bob almost every month: 'His sense of humour and pure enthusiasm brightened up many days. He was always full of ideas and loved the flooring business - he said he used to go to bed thinking of carpets and wake up thinking of carpets!
Starting out as a Carpet Salesman for John Barnes and Company and the John Lewis Partnership, Bob then joined The International Wool Secretariat (IWS) where, for more than 20 years, he was responsible for the inclusion of wool into domestic and contract carpeting under the Wooltweed label. Working closely with yarn suppliers, spinners, carpet manufacturers and retailers, Bob fueled the demand for 80/20 products seeing a dramatic growth in the consumption of wool in carpets around the world.
Recognising the need for the industry to raise its profile with both consumer and trade alike Bob teamed up with friend and colleague Robin Hall to establish the PR and marketing business, Select First Limited. Uniquely they demonstrated how competing companies in the same sector could work together to raise the image of carpets in the trade and consumer press and retail presence. Their profound knowledge of the industry and creative approach resulted in major product promotions such as the bringing together of the V & A Museum, Chatsworth House and Ryalux Carpets.
More recently Bob took a back seat at Select First, passing the company onto, as he would say youth and energy. However, Bob continued to fuel his love to the carpet sector by providing valuable support in a consulting role at Select First.
Those who know Bob will remember his less than formal dress code and his unique way of captivating anyone with great stories and his special talent magic. As a member of the Magic Circle, Bob was regarded as one of the worlds premier magicians and he will be missed by the many who fell under his spell.