Hardware giant Screwfix is opening two new Northern Ireland stores creating dozens of jobs, it can be revealed. The firm, which is owned by B&Q parent company Kingfisher, has plans to launch its latest stores at Duncrue Industrial Estate in Belfast, and another in Omagh.
It's planning to open up at an empty retail unit on the Dromore Road in Omagh. And in Belfast, it wants to turn two units at Duncrue into its third Belfast location.
It currently has six stores in Northern Ireland, including on the Boucher Road and the Ravenhill Road in Belfast.
A spokeswoman for the firm said: "Screwfix is currently looking to open new stores in the area. Further details will be released in due course."
It comes as Screwfix saw like-for-like sales rise 10.8%.
The trade-focused chain has been the stand-out performer for Kingfisher of late, regularly clocking up double-digit sales increases. However, sales at B&Q tumbled in the second quarter, with the firm - which has five Northern Ireland stores - blaming wetter than usual summer weather for the slump.
In 2015, the chain confirmed it was shutting more than half its Northern Ireland network, resulting in the loss of up to 300 jobs.
Earlier this summer, a vacant B&Q store in south Belfast was given new lease of life as a leisure and creative hub.
The team behind the T13 project at the Titanic Quarter - a former shipbuilding warehouse - which hosts events and concerts, and also has an urban sports park, are replicating their scheme at the large empty premises on the Boucher Road.
The former B&Q store has been sitting vacant for more than a year.
Meanwhile, the latest figures posted by the retailer's parent firm Kingfisher show like-for-like sales at the DIY chain fell 4.7% in the three months to July 31 this year.
Total sales at B&Q fell 7.7% to £967m and come alongside a slowing housing market in the UK following the Brexit vote.
Kingfisher also pinned the fall on tough comparatives from last year and a strong first quarter in 2017, when better weather meant shoppers bought seasonal products early.
Chief executive Veronique Laury, who has been overseeing a turnaround at the firm, said: "The second quarter has broadly followed a similar course to first quarter although B&Q's performance was impacted by seasonal swings.
"We have also continued to experience some disruption across the businesses, although on an improving trend."