£50,000 new look for Sunderland store

CAPTION: Rob Stevens, Michael O'Connor Furniture Group Joint Managing Director and Philip Thursby, owner of Philip Thursby Carpets
CAPTION: Rob Stevens, Michael O'Connor Furniture Group Joint Managing Director and Philip Thursby, owner of Philip Thursby Carpets
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ONE of Sunderland’s best-known retail names is going in for a bit of home improvement.

The Michael O’Connor Furniture Group is ploughing £50,000 into its new look, with a major overhaul of its store on the corner of Holmeside and Maritime Terrace, complete with name change.

The shop, which will open on Thursday, will be renamed Home Interiors to reflect the fact it is carrying a wider product range.

Joint managing director Rob Stevens said: “The investment demonstrates our commitment to Sunderland and our resolve to meet changing customer aspirations and retail trends.

“The refurbishment, which will lead to the creation of three new jobs, will mean that we are using the available space to its full potential, with the new-look store having a more contemporary feel with an enhanced product offering.

“However, one thing that will not change is the personal touch and quality service that we offer to customers.

“As a firm of long standing in the area, we are proud to be part of the Wearside business community and look forward to welcoming customers old and new to the store.”

The company is using local suppliers during the refurbishment, including contractors from the Sunderland and Washington areas.

The makeover will include opening up the fourth floor and basement, previously used for storage, as retail space.

One floor will become dedicated to furnishings and ornaments aimed at the first-time buyer market.

Alongside contemporary and modern furnishings, the store will continue to stock traditional brands and ranges such as Bridgecraft and G Plan, and the Philip Thursby carpet concession will remain.

Consideration is being given to opening a cafe.

In preparation for the makeover, the store held sale which saw a £1.5million stock clearance.

It has been closed since the end of last month.

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