A new multi-million pound Dunelm Mill store has welcomed customers for the first time in Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire.
The 22,000 sq ft unit at Wolstanton Retail Park has been built by Midlands-based Deeley Construction and has finally been able to open its doors following the Government’s announcement that non-essential retail could reopen from April 12.
The store has employed around 60 new local members of staff and has been purpose-built for the retailer by Deeley Construction.
Work was completed in October 2020 and carried out entirely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dunelm Mill now has 174 shops, including the new Wolstanton store, and has seen its value rise to £2.8 billion over the last 12 months.
The store was officially opened by Emily Petts, co-founder of Alice Charity which supports families living in poverty in the Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Staff have been working closely with community groups ahead of opening, including collecting blankets for City Dogs Home and Alice Charity.
Members of the Dunelm Newcastle-under-Lyme Community Support group on Facebook were invited to be the first customers of the store – with people queuing up from 7.30am to see inside the huge new store.
The spacious store features a make and mend department to encourage repair and reuse of products.
It also features a café, extended decorating offer and sells a vast selection of homeware and home furnishing goods – for which Dunelm is renowned for around the country.
The cafe will be opening from May 17 and will include afternoon teas as part of its offering.
Deeley Construction also completed work to improve the foundations of the existing Matalan unit and ensure a fire safety route from Marks & Spencer was maintained.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “It’s brilliant to see the store finally open after what has been an incredibly difficult few months for retailers across the country.
“With people queuing up to be the first into the store that proves there is a huge demand for a retailer of this type in the area and it is already providing a huge boost to the local economy, with new jobs and additional footfall for the retail park.
“Our team delivered this development on site during the Covid-19 pandemic and in a live environment, with many customers still visiting Wolstanton Retail Park during the build.
“We ensured there was as little disruption as possible to other businesses and the new Dunelm store is the latest addition to a thriving retail landscape in the area.”