Barkers’ store revamp to create 15 new jobs

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UP to 15 jobs are set to be created at a business which has been the bedrock of life in a Yorkshire town since Victorian times.

The £3m redevelopment of Barkers Furnishing Store in Northallerton is due to be completed just before Christmas.

The business, which already employs 45 staff, plans to hire new full and part­-time staff as the economic recovery gathers pace.

The expansion of the furnishing store is a major investment by the family­-owned business, which also own Barkers department store on Northallerton High Street.

The redevelopment will see Barkers Furnishing Store expand by 20,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet to create a section for contemporary furniture, a bigger linens department, a new cookshop and gifts section.

There will also be a revamp of the store’s first-floor bedroom furniture and soft furnishings section.

The Tree View Cafe will be upgraded as part of the expansion programme, with capacity increased to 150 seats.

Director Ian Barker said: “As well as the new development, we are also conducting a total revamp of our first floor because we wanted to improve the store to give it a modern, contemporary feel and improve customer experience.

“This is the biggest development in Barkers’ history since the furnishing store opened, and we are delighted to announce the expansion will create a number of new jobs, both full and part­- time.

“This is our commitment to Northallerton as we plan to be around for many years to come and continue to be a familiar name in the town. There is always room for improvement and we are trying to be stronger in all areas.”

A spokesman said: “News of Barkers investment will come as a major boost to the Northallerton economy. It is also a sign of renewed confidence in the economy following one of the worst retail recessions in history.”

Barkers began life as a tiny draper’s shop in 1882. The furnishing store first opened its doors in 1994.

The Barkers chiming clock, made by clockmaker Gillett and Johnston, which was established in 1844, marks the entrance to the nearby Barkers Arcade, which has 12 speciality shops.