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Kitchen specialist Harvey Jones planning for 70 UK stores

Mid-to-upmarket kitchens specialist Harvey Jones is on the expansion trail as it lays out plans for 70 shops across the UK.

The 26-store retailer, which is chaired by retail veteran Geoff Brady, is eyeing 1,000 sq ft stores in well-heeled spa towns including Cheltenham, where it will open a store in December.

It will also look to opens stores in major cities including Newcastle and Edinburgh, for example.

This year it has already opened shops in Glasgow and Chester.

The retailer, which makes kitchens hand made to order in its own UK factory, notched up operating profit of £669,000 on turnover of £12.2m in calendar year 2011. It forecasts making turnover of £15m this year.

Brady - who last month helped lead a sale to Theo Paphitis of Robert Dyas, where he was chairman - said that although selling big tickets items is “tough at the moment”, the retailer benefits from being run “like it’s a big company”.

“We have a very professional board at Harvey Jones,” he said.

Brady also said the retailer had managed to grow sales and profits throughout the downturn due to the nature of its customer, which typically has high levels of disposable income.

“We have been a bit sheltered,” he said. “Our customers still have a lot of disposable income. It’s a bit more recession proof at this end of the market.”

The retailer, which is majority owned by the directors after a management buyout in 2007, sells kitchens ranging from £10,000 to £80,000.

It does not sell online but managing director John Curwen said customers are finding it increasingly useful to research on the website.

The retailer will roll out iPads into stores to enable shoppers to browse the full range.

Source : Nicola Harrison – Retail Week
www.retail-week.com

04 September 2012
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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