Factory outlet group attributes 12.5% growth to North Wales stores

Factory outlet group attributes 12.5% growth to North Wales stores
The Original Factory Shop says it is bucking the trend on UK high streets by declaring a total growth of 12.5% for the quarter-period, which ended on July 1.

The company, which has eight stores across the region – including a recently-opened base in Pensarn on the site of the former Somerfield supermarket – announced like-for-like sales were up 5.5% during the first part of 2012.

Branches including Caernarfon helped to contribute to the figures with 3.5% increase in turnover whilst areas such as footwear and home were up a staggering 18.1%.

Original Factory Shop CEO Angela Spindler said the company’s recent forays into areas such as North Wales meant it was “swimming upstream strategically”.

She added: “We know our North Wales customers really well.

“They still enjoy face-to-face interaction, the convenience of compelling local stores and want to save time and money shopping on their local high street.

“We bring them something unique – they’re delighted to have the opportunity to shop for quality brands, and a full non-food assortment, locally – and this has helped us report strong figures.

“We’re bucking the trend by opening stores and trading strongly on Britain’s small town high streets.”

The company currently has stores in Flint, Buckley, Pensarn, Colwyn Bay, Caernarfon, Porthmadog, Pwllheli and Barmouth.

The firm says it aims to regenerate shopping centres that would otherwise remain empty, providing an increase in customer traffic for local retailers and breathing life into these otherwise quiet streets.

The Pensarn branch was taken over by the Original Factory Shop earlier this year, whilst its Colwyn Bay store was a former pub.

More recently, the company opened outlets in Caernarfon, Porthmadog, Pwllheli and Barmouth which were all left empty when high street retailer Woolworths closed its doors in January 2009.

Caernarfon store Manager Janey Maggs told Business Post the ethos of the OFS group had won back custom to ailing town centres: “We’re obviously very pleased with the contribution our store has made to the company’s trading performance.

“Our customers keep enjoying our fantastic value offering as well as the great level of service provided by our dedicated colleagues.

“They also love our ‘Extra’ online range.”

She added: “Having the possibility to order and pay for goods from the website at the tills, by cash if they want to, is ideal for our local customers who don’t have access to the internet or don’t have a credit card. “We can offer larger goods that are not stocked on the premises, such as beds and furniture, and their purchases will then be delivered directly to their home.”

Marketing director Colin Leggatt echoed her words, and said: “We have had stores in North Wales for a long time.

“We had a list of towns we wanted to be in but needed suitable properties.

“As the right properties became available, we jumped at them.”

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