March 8 2014 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
A new department store has opened in a Norfolk town, providing between 15 and 20 new jobs and promising a boost to the town’s economy.
The Original Factory Shop opened in Victoria Road, Diss on Saturday on the site formerly occupied by furniture store Wallace King Interiors, which closed in April with the loss of 10 jobs after falling victim to changing trends with shoppers buying more goods on the internet.
However, Colin Leggatt, a marketing director with the Original Factory Shop, said on Monday marketing research had suggested Diss would be a good place for a new store after the town was assessed on criteria including population size, parking, levels of competition and the standard of the building.
And he added the first weekend of trade had been successful.
“Diss was basically a very good place for us and we saw the opportunity because we thought the town was not being served by national retailers and there was a space for us,” Mr Leggatt said.
So far, the national chain, which aims to offer a wide range of goods from electricals and bedding to furniture, has opened 10 new stores across the country this year and has a number of stores in smaller towns and village across Norfolk and Suffolk, such as Harleston, Wrentham, Bungay and Bury St Edmunds.
Mr Leggatt said the firm targeted smaller towns where customers had to drive to nearby larger towns to do their shopping and specialised in buying branded goods which had not been bought by other retailers and selling them at a discounted price.
He described the Original Factory Shop as a mini-department local convenience store where local people could walk to if they needed, for example, a new jug or kettle urgently.
“We do offer a very broad range to our customers that they would not normally find on smaller high streets,” Mr Leggatt said.
A “shoo-before-shooting” policy to control pigeons has been described by a leading Norfolk farmer as “completely bonkers”.