Retailer to create 80 jobs

Billionaire Chris Dawson with staff at the opening of his Wigan store

Billionaire Chris Dawson with staff at the opening of his Wigan store

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Up to 80 jobs are to be created when a national retail group opens its first store on the Fylde coast.

The Range is set to take over the former Homebase store site on Waterloo Road.

The home, leisure and garden retailer plans to opens its doors to customers at 9am on Friday, September 23.

The Range is owned and run by Plymouth-based entrepreneur Chris Dawson and is known for offering products across 16 departments, including, DIY, arts and crafts, furniture and homewares.

The Range is currently going through a period of expansion and now has more than 120 stores across the UK with around 25 scheduled to open this year.

It said the new store in Blackpool will provide around 80 jobs from store to department managers and warehouse assistants to retail administrators.

Boss Chris Dawson said: “Opening a new store is always an exciting moment for the company and Blackpool is no exception.

“We feel that The Range is a unique shopping experience that has something for everyone and are sure that the new store will be a welcome addition to the local area.”

The company has been working closely with Blackpool’s Job Centre Plus to offer jobs for those out of work.

The Jobcentre’s Karl Worsley said: “The new Range is due to open in September and we have been handling recruitment for them.

“They have a real variety of staff roles to fill and it’s a great opportunity for people in Blackpool.

“People are very interested we put out adverts and the next day one my colleagues came in to 120 emailed CVs.

“I would be very surprised if some of the people who lost their jobs at Homebase were not among those taken on.

“They will already have the retail skills that The Range would need so should be an almost ready to go workforce.”

Homebase announced in 2014 it was closing a quarter of its 343 stores across the UK.

The brand was sold for £40m to a n Australian company, Wesfarmers, which plans to keep 260 of the stores open but rebrand them as Bunnings Warehouse.

The Range this year revealed sales of £661m, up 17 per cent, and entered the Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 league table.