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Furniture Village opens its biggest UK store in Croydon

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CROYDON'S reputation as a major retail centre has been given a massive vote of confidence by a national furniture chain.

Furniture Village's new store on Purley Way opened last Thursday and, at 36,000 sq ft, it is the largest of its 39 outlets across the country.

Company founder and chief executive Peter Harrison sees Croydon as his firm's flagship store, describing Purley Way as "the Oxford Street" of retail parks.

Furniture Village, which is the UK's largest independent furniture retailer, has had a store in Croydon for 20 years.

And Mr Harrison makes it clear that moving to the former Comet premises opposite Sainsbury's indicates just how much faith he has in the town and his belief that Croydon is very much a business growth area. He is no stranger to the town, living relatively nearby in Chipstead and having worked for Allders department store for 20 years before starting out on his own.

Mr Harrison said: "The town centre has suffered recently and it was heartbreaking when Allders closed."

But he believes the Westfield/Hammerson plans to revitalise the centre and rebuild the Whitgift Centre will help re-establish its reputation as a prime retail venue.

He said: "Allders may have shut but the people haven't, they are still here and they want to buy nice things."

That, he said, would only be good for the already thriving Purley Way area.

Mr Harrison said: "To me, Purley Way is the Oxford Street of retail warehousing. There is a great selection of big name stores such PC World, John Lewis and IKEA and people like that. It is a really vibrant area and I anticipate a long and exciting presence for Furniture Village in the area."

He added: "We are in a prime location close to a tram stop which many people are using and although we started trading officially last week, we have been open unofficially for a while and we are already doing very well."

Furniture Village moves into the new premises from its former site on the Fiveways Retail Park.

The new home has undergone a 12-week renovation, replacing the front elevation with a glazed shop front and extending the existing mezzanine to provide additional showroom space. The store has two levels to house its range of sofas, dining tables, beds and garden furniture.

Furniture Village opens its biggest UK store in Croydon


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