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Ena Shaw invests £250,000 to revamp store and boost St Helens town centre
8:00am Saturday 16th March 2013 in News
A FAMILY-run furnishing shop is marking 80 years in business by investing £250,000 in revitalising its town centre store.
Bosses at Ena Shaw aim to revitalise the shopping experience at its Duke Street store and battle back against the lure of retail parks and negative comments on the town.
Richard Potter, managing director said: “The store had become a little bit tired and we needed to correct that – we could not just expect people to come and see us.
The goal of Mr Potter, whose company’s manufacturing arm secured a massive deal to supply curtains for London 2012, is to retain qualities such as customer service, with a new range of products.
Adopting what he says is a “glass half full approach”, he is convinced this will show that shoppers want more than retail parks and that “secondary sites in the town centre can be successful”.
He said: “We were not prepared to sit there and let sales whittle down and let customers go to the retail parks – hence the decision to invest.
“It’s not a straightforward decision in what are tough economic times but we know it is the right thing to do.
“When the business started it was just the arcade window where the entrance is now. It is where we grew up and it we are determined to make a success of it.”
Mr Potter believes investment by independent retailers will be crucial to the long term future of St Helens’ retail zone.
He added: “It is very easy to knock the town centre and say ‘the council isn’t doing this or that’ but really, when it comes down to it, when there are retailers who are not prepared to invest, it is very difficult.
“For us (at Duke Street) the town centre has moved away from us somewhat. That means it is all about making the store a destination, to make it worth the journey for people here and beyond.”
Two new members of staff are being recruited, which will take the total number of employees to 23.
The rebranded Ena Shaw Home will celebrate its new look on Friday, March 22, when customers will be invited to attend.