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QD Stores gains market town retail sites in discount chain acquisition


Further to reporting record Christmas trading, UK value retailer QD Stores has expanded its market town High Street presence in the Eastern counties with the acquisition of discount chain, Thingmebobs.

£6.5m turnover Ingham, Suffolk-based Thingmebobs employs over 100 staff at 11 stores in Clacton, Newmarket, Halstead, Haverhill, March, Attleborough, Felixstowe, Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds and Ely.

Under QD ownership, the Thingmebobs chain will continue to trade under its own name. Co-founder Colin Lawrence will take on a senior management role within QD; no staff redundancies are planned, post-acquisition.


Its acquisition boosts Norwich-based QD Stores retail presence to 49 outlets operating under the QD, Lathams of Potter Heigham and Cherry Lane Garden Centre brands, extending from Eastern England and Home Counties as far north as Doncaster and west as Wrexham.


"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," says QD Stores group managing director, Justin Farrington Smith.

"This deal takes our group into market towns we have long aspired to attain a presence in."


QD sales boost

Last week, QD posted like-for-like sales over the Christmas trading period up by a record 8.19%.

Christmas trading for the group (excluding some 2012 store openings) saw like-for-like store sales of festive decorations, novelties and lights up by 16.64%; toys up by 33.27%; menswear up by 20.78%; grocery up by 26.38%; household cleaning and toiletries up by 43.88%; with plants and seeds sales at the Cherry Lane Garden Centres increased by 26.37%.


2012 expansion

QD expanded its Cherry Lane Garden Centre chain to a total of nine sites during 2012 with the acquisition of a new build site at Towcester in Northamptonshire. 


The group also acquired the freehold and assets of Croft Nurseries & Garden Centre in Beverley, Yorkshire and the purchase of a new build garden centre site at Cromford, Derbyshire.

A joint redevelopment with food specialist retailer Morrisons of the former Buyright site at Hadleigh, Suffolk provided QD with a new 20,000 sq ft store and an existing wraparound garden centre space.


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