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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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60 jobs are created as two stores open

SIXTY jobs will be created this week with the opening of two major new stores.

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New store: Next Home in Kingstown, Carlisle

Next Home opens on Thursday, creating 40 jobs, and furniture retailers Dickinsons takes over the city centre Chapman’s site on Friday, providing 20 jobs.

It is the first Next Home store to open in Cumbria and work on the finishing touches is taking place over the weekend at the site at Kingstown Industrial Estate, next to Comet.

The 12,604 sq ft store will open on Thursday, September 13 at 10am and will sell furniture, decorating and home accessories.

A spokesman for Next said it would offer “all aspects of Next Home and decoration”.

“The store will include made-to-measure blinds and curtains, paint and decorating elements, plus a free home design consultant for any design advice,” he said.

To celebrate the opening of the new shop, Next is giving its first 100 customers a chance to win a gift card worth up to £50 in their Golden Ticket competition.

The shop will be open seven-days-a-week until 8pm Monday to Friday, 6pm on Saturdays and 5pm on Sundays.

Dickinsons’ Victoria Viaduct site opens on Friday and will be the largest outlet for the north east furniture retailer, which has branches in Hexham and Alnwick. The store will employ around 20 people – including former Chapman’s manager Jim Booth who has been appointed store manager.

“This is an extremely exciting opportunity to expand the company and is a natural step forward for us” said Tace Traviss, the firm’s commercial director.

“The trade sectors we operate in have been extremely challenging during the last few years but we have continued to grow and develop by winning market share from others.”

Mr Booth, 54, who began his career with Chapmans in 1984, said that he was thrilled when he heard that he would manage the new store.

“Chapmans was a well-loved family furniture store, and the staff were all very happy in the business,” he said.

“It was a huge shock when we were told it would be closing. There were lots of hugs and tears from customers but we realise that the world has changed.

“This building is perfect for the new venture. It’s hugely exciting to be a part of something like this, and it will give a lift to the whole city.”

Siesta House was home to the family-run Chapmans furniture store for 165 years until it announced it was to close in March.

Dickinsons has the biggest collection of designer fabrics in the north of England – 25,000 of them, as well as 8,500 wallpapers, 5,500 blinds and different types of flooring.

Opening the Carlisle store will take Dickinsons’ turnover to more than £7m, with the business employing more than 60 people in total.

PMcClounie@cngroup.co.uk

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