By Duncan Brodie, Business Editor
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
EAST Anglian-based value retailer QD Stores has expanded its high street presence with the acquisition of discount chain Thingmebobs.
The deal, the value of which has not been disclosed, follows a record-breaking Christmas trading period for QD, with like-for-like sales growing by 8.2% on the previous year.
Thingmebobs, which has annual turnover of about £6.5million, is based at Ingham, near Bury St Edmunds, and operates 10 stores, in towns including Bury, Sudbury, Newmarket, Haverhill and Felixstowe in Suffolk, Clacton and Halstead in Essex, Attleborough in Norfolk and Ely and March in Cambridgeshire.
The stores will continue to operate under the Thingmebobs brand, with no redundancies planned among the company’s 100-plus staff. Co-founder Colin Lawrence will take on a senior management role within QD.
QD Stores group managing director Justin Farrington Smith said: “This deal takes our group into market towns we have long aspired to attain a presence in.
“Thingmebobs offers quality, value products from established outlets staffed by a committed, long-serving workforce, making this acquisition a natural fit with tremendous mutual synergy.”
The acquisition boosts Norwich-based QD Stores’ network to a total of 49 outlets. Besides its QD-branded stores, it operates the Cherry Lane Garden Centre chain and Lathams of Potter Heigham.
Although main located in East Anglia and the Home Counties, it has stores as far north as Doncaster and west as far to Wrexham.
The company’s Christmas trading figures included like-for-like sales growth of 16.6% for decorations, novelties and lights, 33.3% for toys, 20.8% for menswear, 26.4% for groceries, 43.9% for cleaning products and toiletries and 26.4% for plants and seeds.
The acquisition of Thingmebobs follows on from expansion during 2012 which included the addition of three more garden centre sites and the joint redevelopment of its former Buyright site in Hadleigh to create a new 20,000 sq ft QD store, which is already trading, and a Morrisons supermarket, which is due to open next week.