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House of Fraser to work with Sunderland's ScS on new product range
A HIGH street store famous for selling designer brands and beauty products will open a furniture and carpet department in three North-East shops, The Northern Echo can reveal.
House of Fraser is working with A Share and Sons, who own Sunderland-based sofa company, ScS, to launch its new For Living range at outlets in Darlington, Middlesbrough and Gateshead's Metrocentre.
The privately-owned group, also known to customers as Binns, has more than 60 shops in the UK and Ireland and will launch its new products on Thursday, March 7.
The range includes sofa brands such as Parker Knoll, La-Z-Boy and G Plan, as well as hundreds of carpets, which the firm says will help strengthen its position on the high street.
Nigel Oddy, chief operating officer for House of Fraser, said: “Our decision to strengthen and broaden our furniture and flooring offer with the introduction of For Living as a new concession partner, is symbolic of our commitment to making House of Fraser a destination premium UK high street brand.”
The company also denied rumours it has put some workers on reduced hours, saying it had not taken such action at any of its stores.
The move comes after the company revealed it had enjoyed a strong Christmas, with like-for-like sales rising by 6.3 per cent in the six weeks to January 5.
It said demand for fashion and beauty products was particularly high, with overall like-for-like sales excluding VAT up by 5.2 per cent for the first ten weeks of the fourth quarter.
Don McCarthy, chairman of House of Fraser, said: “There is no doubt that 2012 was a challenging year in retail and it remains difficult to predict when economic conditions and consumer sentiment will improve.
“With the strong sales performance in the period and a close focus on margins and operational efficiencies, we expect to report growth in full year earnings in line with previous indications.”
The partnership between House of Fraser and A Share and Sons is another boost for ScS, which last year underwent a £1m re-branding to move into the carpet industry.
Founded in Sunderland in 1894, ScS now uses the strapline, Sofa Carpet Specialist, and employs more than 1,000 people across its stores, nine distribution centres, and its Sunderland head office.