QD and Buyright discount store chain hails its ‘best Christmas ever’

THE managing director of East Anglia-based discount shops firm QD said today it was eyeing acquisition opportunities after seeing its “best Christmas ever”.

The company, which has 38 shops across the country, operating under the QD, Buyright, Lathams and Cherry Lane Garden Centre brands, said its like-for-like sales were up 5.66% over the festive period..

Despite difficult trading conditions in the High Street, the firm said it had seen an “overall improvement in profitability and margin over the critical Christmas 2011 trading period”.

The Norwich-based company’s network of stores extends as far as Doncaster in the north and Wrexham to the west. In Suffolk and north Essex, it includes QD stores in Ipswich, Colchester, Lowestoft, Clacton, Stowmarket, Newmarket, Beccles and Saffron Walden, Buyright in Hadleigh and Cherry Lane garden centres at Long Melford and Stisted, near Braintree.

Group managing director, Justin Farrington Smith said: “We have just experienced our best ever Christmas trading with like-for-like sales for the period up by 5.66%, and with overall improvement in profit and margin.

“Our new store and garden centre in Braintree traded well and our first ever pop-up store trialled successfully enough to suggest the concept can be taken forward in the forthcoming year,” he said.

However, he said the response from landlords to a call for suitable outlets had been “surprisingly poor” given the number of empty premises on the high street.

Most Read

QD’s expansion was slowed during 2011 by a series of teething issues with IT implementation, but Mr Farrington-Smith said today: “We are over the worst of these now.”

“We have acquired a further garden centre site near Derby and hope to start building work on this development later in the year.

“We are currently evaluating a number of acquisition opportunities and are always keen to hear from interested parties with suitable sites for our purposes,” he added.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter