Sofa Workshop plans to roll out franchised stores as Andrew Cussins, the founder who bought the retailer out of administration in January, steps back from the running of the business.

The 12-store sofa retailer will open a franchise shop in Belfast this month to add to its other franchise store in Chester. Sofa Workshop is primarily based in the south of England but wants to open in the North and the Midlands.

Managing director Ian MacGuffog said: “We will look at further franchises as it’s a comfortable way for us to roll out around the country. Chester is very successful.”

Cussins bought 12 stores from the administrator when the retailer collapsed in January. Cussins has since stepped back from the “day to day running of the business” but remains a director and shareholder, according to MacGuffog.

MacGuffog would not comment on suggestions that Cussins took a back seat after a “disagreement on strategy”.

MacGuffog said: “The first and most important thing is to try and stabilise Sofa Workshop. Sales have exceeded our expectations; we’ve made a great start. We’re trying to get the wow factor back into our shops.”

The retailer is set to launch a fully transactional website in September.