RETAIL chain The Range is to open its new Sunderland branch this week.
The Plymouth-based home, garden and leisure retailer has set up shop in the former Homebase store in Silksworth Lane, Sunderland, and is due to open on Friday.
The store is creating about 100 new full and part-time jobs. It comes after Homebase closed its home improvement and garden outlet at the site earlier this year.
Homebase said it was hoping to transfer its 30 staff to neighbouring stores or sister chain Argos.
Speaking on the opening of the new Range branch, the firm’s founder Chris Dawson said: “The Range is always excited about opening a new store, and Sunderland is no exception.
“The new store will create around 100 jobs, from sales assistants to store managers.
“We hope to be an integral part of the community as this promises to be an exciting new chapter of The Range story.”
Mr Dawson said the opening of the Sunderland branch comes at an “exciting time” for the company as part of an expansion plan aiming to create a total of 100 stores before Christmas.
He said: “We are confident that Sunderland is the perfect location for The Range and we look forward to inviting the local community down to experience the high-quality and low-cost products that The Range has to offer.”
Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Stuart Porthouse will join Mr Dawson to officially open the new store at 9am on Friday, with Metro Radio providing live entertainment and giving away £500 worth of store vouchers.