Former Marlows garden centre site bought by Direct Furniture

The freehold of the former Marlows Home and Garden Centre premises and site has been sold to Direct Furniture.

The freehold of the former Marlows Home and Garden Centre premises and site in Bury St Edmunds has been sold to Direct Furniture. - Credit: Eddisons

A large former garden centre site in Bury St Edmunds has been bought by a furniture company - creating more jobs in the town.

Direct Furniture has taken on the freehold of the old Marlows Home and Garden Centre premises and site in Hollow Road, outside of the town centre.

Marlows was forced to close last year because of “poor trading conditions” caused by Covid-19.

Direct Furniture already has a shop in the town on the Bartons Retail Park and hopes to open its new store in Hollow Road at the end of this month with a 'soft' launch.

Jonathan Carter, of the Direct Furniture family business, said the new site gives them space to grow, a café and outdoor space.

Tom and Jonathan Carter who run the family business, Direct Furniture.

Tom and Jonathan Carter who run the family business, Direct Furniture. - Credit: Archant

The premises measures 45,994 square feet and is set on a 3.228 acre site.

Mr Carter said the new store and café would create jobs for at least 10 more people over the course of six months.

He added: "We are delighted to have found something. It's got retail, its own car park. You don't have to worry about getting stuck in traffic.

"The new site will mean we can talk to more brands and bring some of the other brands we had in the past back in again and get in a wider range of products and lots and lots more interesting things as the coronavirus pandemic ends."

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Direct Furniture is known particularly for its sofas, drawing customers from outside the area such as London.

It will continue to sell sofas alongside other furniture like beds, homeware and, hopefully from spring/summer 2022, there will be an outdoor area launch for garden furniture.

Mr Carter said they will also trade from the Bartons Retail Park store for the foreseeable future.

 Bartons Retail Park

The inside the Bartons Retail Park. - Credit: Archant

He said business during the coronavirus pandemic - which involved closures of their store - had been "really challenging" but added: "As soon as we have reopened it's been really, really busy, which has been fantastic."

"People are still happy to come and spend," he said.

"If people have done their houses during lockdown they want to go out and do the rest of it once shops are open."

He also spoke of the continuing challenges for the furniture industry due to issues with container shipping as well as actually getting the products made due to problems such as shortages of materials.

Commercial property agents Eddisons said after Marlows stopped trading there had been "significant" interest in the site.

They said: "The sale demonstrates that Bury St Edmunds remains a popular retail location and the expansion of a local retailer is great news for the town."