Ponden Mill unveils new fascia

Soft furnishings specialist Ponden Mill is dumping its B's Linen Warehouse fascia and repositioning the stores as The Home Co.

Managing director John Taylor said B's would retain its reputation for value, but benefit from a revamp clearly distinguishing it from overt discounters.

He said: 'The Home Co is still tremendous value, but has a much softer feel and communicates a certain ambience that anyone will be comfortable with, as opposed to just the discount shopper.'

The B's Linen format was launched during the recession of the late-1980s to provide representation for Ponden Mill in towns where low price points were needed.

'It's the same principle New Look has applied to the fashion industry - it has the equivalent shop-fit to an Arcadia store, but it is selling stuff at a third of the price,' said Taylor.

The first revamped B's store was unveiled at Chester-le-Street in Durham last week, and the remaining 14 will be converted within six months.

Keighley-based Ponden Mill, which specialises in textiles, is expanding rapidly and recently took on a new 20,000 sq m warehouse to boost capacity.

Ponden's store count has climbed from 23 to 120 in six years and Taylor wants to add 20 to 30 more each year.

The retailer posted pre-tax profits of£1.2 million in 2001 on sales of£40.2 million.

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