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Saint Gobain’s Bassetts grows in Northern Ireland as other retailers exit

Bassetts Simply Bathrooms 725 x 500

Bathroom company Bassetts has said its growth is continuing as the other big players shut up shop in the province. The firm, which was founded in the province in 1982 but is now part of the global Saint-Gobain Group, has 14 stores across Northern Ireland.

It is understood the company hopes to capitalise on the waning presence of chains such as B&Q, which is closing five of its big stores here, including a flagship one on Belfast's Boucher Road.

Bassetts recently opened up on Boucher Place, not far from the B&Q due to shut next month.

The company, which has been part of Saint-Gobain since 2004, caters for the low, middle and high-end markets in plumbing and heating.

And as well as bathrooms, it supplies plumbing parts to the trade and public.

It said it was well-placed to avail of growth in house-building in Northern Ireland. According to the National House Building Council, there were nearly 1,000 new homes started here in the three months to October, which is an increase of 44% on the same period a year earlier.

Managing director Alan Wright said: "Despite the difficulties many national retailers may be facing in the home improvement market, our bathroom, plumbing and heating business has gone from strength to strength."

The home improvement sector is currently going through a shake-up. As well as B&Q's shop closures, also affecting Londonderry, Sprucefield, Ballymena and Craigavon, Homebase is closing its outlet in Omagh, with the loss of 39 jobs.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the Argos parent company which was the subject of a takeover offer by supermarket giant Sainsbury's. The company rejected Sainsbury's offer, which was made in November but only came to light last week.

Source : Margaret Canning - Belfast Telegraph

12 January 2016

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