Business

Barker and Stonehouse creating 20 new jobs with new Metrocentre store

North East furniture retailer Barker and Stonehouse says it will create 20 new jobs after being given approval for a new store in the region.

The Teesside chain will double the size of its store at the Metrocentre in Gateshead after being given planning approval for a new shop on the site of the former Snow + Rock site at the Metro Centre Retail Park.

The new store will have almost 50,000 sq. ft of retail space across three floors, including a bistro run by North East chef Daryl Chadwick.

The store will open in late 2022 and comes after a £1m investment by Barker and Stonehouse in new interactive technologies to improve customer experiences both in store and online.

Managing director James Barker said: “We always want to provide something different for our customers, an approach which has proved successful over our 75-year history. Not only with a diverse product range but also by ensuring our stores far surpass the design expectations of any out-of-town retail outlet.

Barker and Stonehouse managing director, James Barker

“This new location is ideal. It’s at the heart of an already bustling retail community and we’re excited to grow our offer here.

“Our roots are very much in the North East, with my grandfather having started the business in 1946 in Stockton on Tees. It’s great to be strengthening our presence by further investing in the region.”

As the first UK furniture retailer of scale to achieve Carbon Neutral Plus status earlier this year, Barker and Stonehouse is planning a range of environmental measures for the new store, including energy-saving lighting, a solar panelled roof and thermal insulation. The building will also have more timber frames as opposed to steel, which are more environmentally friendly and also energy saving, and the site will include electric vehicle charging points.

Mr Barker added: “We have twice as many stores as we did 10 years ago but still use the same amount of power. This is the direct result of our carbon-reducing initiatives.

“To become the company that we would like to become, there is still a distance to go, but we are making good and consistent progress.”

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