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The Range bucks the trend with a store-opening programme in its 30th anniversary year

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Multichannel retailer The Range is marking its 30th anniversary with a store opening programme.

It says it will create hundreds of new jobs as it opens stores in the UK this year, including seven on former Homebase sites.

The homewares, gardens and leisure retailer, founded by Chris Dawson, will open stores in St Albans, Aylesbury, Wrexham, Salisbury, Hemel Hempstead, Wakefield and Yeovil during the course of March and April, all on sites previously run by Homebase. it will also open a new £25m 70,000 sq ft superstore and a new head office in its hometown of Plymouth in February, followed by new  new stores in Northampton and Paisley during the first half of 2019.

Each store is expected to provide around 80 new jobs in the local area. 

Chris Dawson, founder of The Range, said: “With the current expansion plans in the pipeline for 2019, we are looking forward t another big year of growth and development. It is great that we are able to take over some of the closed Homebase sites, providing locals with an alternative location for all their home, leisure and garden needs.”

He added: “The opening of our destination superstore and head office in our home town of Plymouth is a great achievement for the company and one that I, personally, am very proud of, as it’s where it all began 30 years ago. All this taking place during our 30th anniversary year means another exciting 12 months for The Range.”

The Range, a Top350 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, started life as a market stall in the South West of England, and its first store opened in 1989 under the name CDS (Chris Dawson Superstores). Today there are more than 160 stores across the UK and Ireland.

The store opening programme is notable in that it comes at a time when many multichannel retailers are reducing their high street presence in the light of online shopping. Homebase is among a number of IRUK Top500 retailers that have used the CVA approach to close stores that are surplus to requirements at a time when shoppers are making more of their purchases online.

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