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The Range in 2,000 jobs vow

Plymouth homeware retailer The Range is to create up to 2,000 jobs over the next 12 months, its owner and founder Chris Dawson has told Insider. He also said the pensions reform being brought into all UK businesses later this year will be "the most catastrophic act to hit British business".

Speaking to Insider at the launch of the Range's 61st UK store in Dorchester, owner and founder Chris Dawson said that new legislation forcing all UK companies to introduce a pension scheme for employees was "a disaster".

"These rules will stop a lot of businesses – especially smaller companies – from growing. I truly believe it's the most catastrophic development in British business in recent history," he said.

"It's 8 per cent of a business' income disappearing, being taken out of the economy. It will strangle Britain's growth at the very time it needs it most."

Dawson said The Range would be helping create jobs at a much-needed time in 2012, including 100 at the latest Dorchester outlet. The store - the company's second 2012 opening - will begin trading from 9 March.

"We'll be opening another 16 stores – about one every three weeks – over the next year," he said. "That will create about 2,000 jobs."

Dawson claims that the high street homewares retailer created 2 per cent of the UK's net employment last year, having generated 1,800 jobs across the country.

"I'd never tell anyone the secret to The Range's success," he said. "Why would I want my competitors knowing how I'm succeeding when so many others aren't?

"I know why a lot of these businesses are falling into administration and not getting picked up again, and it's because of the way they're run. You can't be successful year after year with luck – you have to have a resound business plan, and a lot of these retailers don't. It's incredibly tough out there, and now, only the strongest will survive."

Employees are set to start being automatically enrolled into company schemes from October 2012, under government plans. However, it is anticipated smaller companies will be given up to five years to prepare new pension plans.

Source : Stephanie Bartup – Insider Media

31 January 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.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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