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Godfrey DIY to downsize its Norwich branch

Published: 10 January 2013
Retailer Godfrey DIY has revealed plans to dramatically downsize one of its three branches and rebrand its offer at the site as a dedicated furniture store trading under the Totally Home banner.
Godfrey DIY to downsize its Norwich branch
The move, which will naturally result in job losses, is in response to ongoing challenging trading conditions and is designed to secure the long-term future of the business, said md Barry Godfrey, who added that the decision had not been taken lightly.

He told DIY Week: "We came to the decision that it was becoming increasingly challenging to make our Norwich store viable. It comes down to the marketplace getting smaller and the fact that there is still a lack of a housing market, which is making it difficult.

"Everyone is having to fight hard for their share. The bigger stores, with bigger marketing budgets are able to fight that bit harder. Although I am very proud of what we do in terms of marketing and think the offers we source are second to none for an independent, we soon realised it was a battle we could not win."

The plan is to scale back operations at the site on Riverside Road by replacing the current 15,000sq ft DIY and furniture store with a 2,000sq ft furniture shop. The Totally Home banner is one Godfrey has traded under previously and with some success at a unit in Southend.

The Norwich premises, from which Godfrey DIY has traded since it was first established in 1983, will still be home to the firm's head office but it is hoped that the remainder of the space will be let to other retailers.
The decision could result in as many as 20 job losses. The business has already entered into a formal period of consultation with all 26 employees at the store and its head office but Mr Godfrey told DIY Week it was likely that only six positions could be saved.

There are also expected to be redundancies at Godfrey DIY's two other sites, in Diss and Stowmarket. While Mr Godfrey described the two branches as viable, he explained the importance of streamlining staff and operations across the board in order to reduce costs.

"We want to be part of the future of the DIY market and we've got to do everything we can do to preserve that," said Mr Godfrey. "We had to make some adjustments and keep costs at a manageable level. Of course I am very sorry for the people losing their jobs. It was a hard decision but it was the right decision to make at the time."

Currently, 14 members of staff are employed at Godfrey DIY in Diss and 11 in Stowmarket. Mr Godfrey said that up to half of these people could be affected.
There is a closing down sale at the Norwich store at the moment and the consultation period with staff is expected to come to an end in a matter of days.

Mr Godfrey is keen to attract other home improvement retailers, in particular, to the unit and believes the variety of outlets will make the site more attractive. Any retailers interested in letting part of the premises in Norwich should contact Mr Godfrey on 01603 883788.

Comments

Published prior to March 2014
By Jerry Barton
I worked at the Thetford Branch in the warehouse for over 5 years, absolutely loved the job, didn't do alot of work and was grumpy all the time, but never the less, loved it. RIP Godfreys
Published prior to March 2014
By JIM
Saddened to hear Godfrey DIY are in trouble but it must be made very clear that a business with similar name based in Lowestoft [LR Godfrey Ltd] known locally as 'Godfreys' is in no way connected with Godfrey DIY and continues to trade and has a healthy balance sheet, and as one business to another we wish Barry and his family all the best for future!!
Published prior to March 2014
By Dennis
Not surprised. As a tradesman I have found it increasingly difficult to buy my tools etc from Godfrey's. The buyers have been filling the shop with 'tat' for the ladies, forgetting their core customers!!!
Published prior to March 2014
By Dermott Gardner
agreed!!
Published prior to March 2014
By steve lane
Shame that the company completely lost direction and individuality to become yet another shop selling " home adornments" whatever that means. Poor management at the top , changing what was a great offer to run of the mill. Poor show!!!

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