Shoppers’ response to Leekes’ new flagship store in Coventry exceeded all expectations on its opening day last Saturday.
Traffic was backed up along the road and the 500-space car park was full for most of the day. Sales targets were achieved by midday, and included 300 pots of paint, over 100 sofas and dining sets and 1,000 cups of tea in the coffee shop.
The 185,000sq ft home department store is the retailer’s biggest yet – and the largest in a 50-mile radius – and brings the number of Leekes home department stores to five. It replaces the store at nearby Bedworth, acquired over three years ago as part of Leekes’ purchase of the three West Midlands Cole’s Home Furnishers stores, which was too small to convert into a full-format home store.
The new flagship outlet has been created from a former Makro distribution centre on Coventry’s Gallagher Business Park and provides extended ranges in all departments. It offers some 30 kitchens, 60 bathrooms, hundreds of sofas, chairs and dining sets, over 50 beds, bed frames and a huge range of bedroom furniture along with flooring, paint and paper, lighting, accessories and gifts. There is also an interior design studio offering home makeover expertise.
A number of new partners include a Farmers Fayre farm shop, restaurant and coffee shop providing locally-sourced produce, Cotswold Outdoor offering outdoor clothing and equipment and Trek Bicycle for bikes and accessories. Concessions include furniture brands Hulsta and, for the first time, Editions by Natuzzi.
Managing director Emma Leeke said: “We’d had our sights set on opening a store in the Midlands for such a long time and so we’re delighted that this day has finally come.
“Customer response and feedback has been unprecedented and we’re incredibly excited to welcome even more new faces through the doors over the coming days, weeks and months, as customers from the surrounding areas pop in to see what we have to offer.
“This new flagship store marks one of the most important milestones in our 115-year family history,” she went on, “and we’re looking forward to what we expect to be a very bright future in Coventry.”
Store manager, Max Shinh, added: “In the last six weeks Leekes has been named Best Furniture Retailer by Interiors Monthly magazine, so we’re thrilled to bring this extensive experience to Coventry.”
Along with the Coventry store, Leekes now operates home department stores in Bilston in the West Midlands, Llantrisant, near Cardiff, Cross Hands in Carmarthenshire and Melksham in Wiltshire. It also has a furniture store in Fenton, Stoke on Trent, a builder’s merchant in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley and six concessions in garden centres.
The Bedworth outlet which Coventry has replaced closed on September 16, and many of its staff have transferred to the new store.