Norwich-based discount retailer QD Stores is temporarily closing its flagship store in the city centre as part of a major £500,000 refurbishment programme.

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The company, which has occupied the site in St Stephen’s since 1992, expects the store to re-open in early April.

The store will close at the end of business on New Year’s Eve and staff will be relocated to neighbouring QD Group stores in Anglia Square, Norwich and Dereham.

While no extra jobs will be created at the new store, QD group managing director Justin Farrington Smith said it would be more “consumer-friendly”.

He added: “We are enhancing the customer experience at a number of our stores with new signage, flooring and ceiling systems.

“With better signage it will be easier for consumers to navigate the store and shop. There will also be a different till queuing system, and it will be more consumer-friendly.

“St Stephen’s is a large outlet located on a prime site in our home city. It’s important to us and we felt it was time now to bring it into our refurbishment programme.

“It’s unusual for us to close a store, but in this case we had to. If consumers in Norwich want bargain shopping, then they can go to our store in Anglia Square.”

QD operates 38 retail outlets under the QD, Lathams of Potter Heigham and Cherry Lane Garden Centre brands, extending from the eastern England and Home Counties as far north as Doncaster and west as Wrexham.

The group, which recently re-developed its Clacton-on-Sea outlet and opened a new concept store in Hadleigh, Suffolk, has an active programme of store improvement underway.

Meanwhile, the group has reported record Christmas trading with like-for-like sales up by 8.19pc.

Mr Farrington Smith puts the festive season success down to long-term campaign planning and enhancements to logistics and customer services.

Have you got a story about a new store either coming to or leaving Norwich? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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