Watford Electronics is set to dramatically expand its coverage of England and Wales by opening 20 additional stores in England during the next two years.
Nazir Jessa, MD of the mail-order and retail company, said Watford would open six or seven superstores of about 600 sq metres, as well as about 13 smaller sites. Its two existing outlets are in Watford and Luton.
Jessa claimed the additional stores would offer a level of service and prices that would allow the retailer to compete with any of its rivals.
He said the stores would cover all of England and Wales, but not Scotland, and would be concentrated in the north of England. Watford is currently looking at properties in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, which it hopes to have up and running by early next year.
The company is looking to take on another 100 employees by next June. The factory in Luton for its own label products is being extended and should be ready in the next three weeks.
Jessa claimed Watford already covers the whole country via mail order, but consumers are demanding more shops as they like to see products before buying and want immediate availability. He also said sales of software packages in the #20 to #25 price range suffer from costs of postage and packing.
Jessa denied the expansion was a move away from mail-order business but a way of attracting additional business.
Ingram Micro will supply the products from other manufacturers to Watford?s stores. Watford?s own label products will initially be delivered through Amtrak, although if all goes well Jessa hopes to have a fleet of vans to deal with deliveries.
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