Derry’s retail offering is set for a major boost over the coming weeks with two new stores opening in the city.
Oak Furniture Land will open their first showroom in Derry tomorrow, while Poundstretcher have confirmed their new store in the city is due to open within weeks.
Oak Furniture Land, which is the UK’s largest retailer of solid hardwood furniture, will open their showroom at 5 Crescent Link Retail Park .The 8,708 sq ft premises will also have a mezzanine floor.
The new showroom has created six new jobs and forms part of the company’s on-going expansion plans.
The new Derry store features over 13 ranges, including new ranges Canterbury and St Ives, as well as a large range of sofas and armchairs.
Alan Tombs, Regional Manager at Oak Furniture Land, said: “We’re delighted to be opening our first store in Derry, and our second store in Northern Ireland.
“It’s a major investment for us, and plays a significant role in our on-going store opening programme across the UK, which has seen us open a store each month for the last three years.
“Our Northern Ireland customers have been loyal to us since we opened our first store in Belfast last year and we are looking forward to extending our 100% solid hardwood furniture offering to customers in the area.
“We know when customers shop with us they return time and time again, and we are looking forward to serving our Derry customers for many years to come.”
Derry’s new Poundstretcher store at Buncrana Road meanwhile is expected to be ready within weeks, while the firm hopes to reopen its original city centre store in 2018.
Poundstretcher Ltd company secretary Martin Collinson told the Journal this week that they were determined to be open at Faustina Retail Park next to the Range superstore for the busy pre-Christmas period.
The company, which was the first discount variety retailer of its kind to set up in Derry, has not had a presence in the city since its Bishop Street store was gutted in a fire back in the summer of 2015.
At the time the 15 staff members were re-deployed to other stores and Mr Collinson said they will now be offered the opportunity to return to work in Derry.
He added that there would be other employment opportunities at the Buncrana Road store, to be advertised in the coming weeks.
“I think the store will be opened imminently, certainly this side of Christmas,” he said.
“The Christmas period is certainly a big trading time for us. We do a lot of business over those weeks so it is important time for us.”
Mr Collinson confirmed there was now work taking place at the site to ready it for the arrival of staff and the first deliveries of stock.
He added: “With the existing site at Bishop Street, we still plan to rebuild and reopen on that site.
“That is a longer term project and there is significant work to be done but that still remains our plan and it will be our plan to run the two stores.”