A discount department store business is planning rapid growth in 2010 after record breaking Christmas figures.
The Original Factory Shop already has 130 stores nationwide, but plans another 600 in coming years to satisfy shoppers’ ‘thirst for bargains.’ The £100million company runs from Burnley by ex-Debenhams managing director Angela Spindler who sees East Lancashire as ‘fertile territory’ as it takes on high street giants and plots its expansion. Bosses believe concentrating outlets in small towns, helping to regenerate shopping areas, is the key to success.
Currently, there are three Original Factory Shop stores in the area, in Clitheroe, Great Harwood and Todmorden. However a buoyant Christmas period, with like-for-like sales up 16% on 2008, has led Mrs Spindler to cast around for new areas to push into, including other parts of East Lancashire. She said: ‘Our stores are about convenience, because they are so local.’ Mrs Spindler continued: ‘There are more than 1,000 small towns in the UK that fit the profile for an Original Factory Shop store. That means they have fewer than 20,000 people living there and so those towns tend to have lower rents. We are confident that there’s an opportunity for another 400 to 600 stores across the UK, and some of those will be in the East Lancashire area.’
The Original Factory Store’s expansion has drawn on shoppers’ desire for discounts on big brands. The company is confident that Britons’ love of value stores will endure, even as the country emerges from recession as people are still worried about the economy.
Here at Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire we hope that figures such as the ones experienced by this company shows that the country is slowly starting to recover from the recession.