Durham Pine team staff holiday

Furniture retailer Durham Pine is celebrating a 34 per cent jump in turnover by taking 250 of its staff and their families off for some sun, sea and sangria in Mallorca.

With turnover for 2002/03 forecast to reach£55 million, the company is rewarding all staff who have completed more than one year's service with the week-long holiday in August.

'As employees these days, we can feel as if there is a gun held to our heads and it does not always get the best results,' said chairman John Marshall. 'This is a way of saying thank you to our staff, who have helped us get to where we are.'

Marshall also hopes the move will help convince potential employees that DP Furniture is a good place to work.

Marshall attributes the company's recent success in part to its diversification into metal, leather and other hardwood products, and its new brand DP Furniture.

'Although the pine market is worth£500 million, and we have 12 per cent of that, it has peaked in terms of being an aspirational purchase,' he said.

DP Furniture is moving closer to its target of becoming a 160-store chain by 2007 with the opening of 20 new stores this year and the conversion of others into superstores or relocation to retail parks.