Diss furnishing firm expands

A family-run furnishings company has pledged its commitment to Diss as it prepares to open a new retail unit on the edge of town.

John Doe Furniture and Carpets, which has been operating in the area since 1983, is opening the doors of its new 38,000sqft retail unit in Sawmills Road tomorrow.

The investment will bring the company's home furnishings and carpet and flooring products under one roof after previously being based in a shop in St Nicholas Street and a warehouse showroom in Vinces Road.

The business, which has a turnover of about �2m, was established by John and Angela Doe 28 years ago and now includes their sons Edward and Charles. The expansion comes as the firm, which employs 20 people, has continued to grow despite the tough economic climate.

Co-director Edward Doe said the family had been 'desperate' to bring all their staff and stock under one roof.

'The only negative is that we are moving from the town centre, but the positive is that we can offer Diss a lot more and bring people from further afield,' he said.

John Doe, company director, said: 'The opening of the store in Sawmills Road is a major milestone for the business and the family. This is the most ambitious project we have yet undertaken, but it is one that we are very confident about. We are a growing business and have traded profitably through the recession and believe that there are many further opportunities for growth through the investment in the store. This would not be the case if we had remained as we were.'

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'Some might question the wisdom of opening a new store at this present time when a lot of retailers are finding times tough. We believe the benefits of the new store and the new revenues it will create far outweigh any negatives.'

NatWest provided the business with a loan for the development costs of the project as well as a new card payment processing system for the business

Gavin Brooks, business development director, commercial banking at NatWest said: 'We have been impressed with the vision of the company since we started working together last year. Ask people in Diss of their views of John Doe and they will speak in the highest regard. Therefore we are pleased to be working with them on the biggest investment in the company's history.'

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