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Soft furnishings company Bedeck plans expansion of Co Armagh base

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Co Armagh soft furnishing company Bedeck is to expand its headquarters at Magheralin in Co Armagh
Co Armagh soft furnishing company Bedeck is to expand its headquarters at Magheralin in Co Armagh
Co Armagh soft furnishing company Bedeck is to expand its headquarters at Magheralin in Co Armagh
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

A family-owned soft furnishings business has launched a £1m bid to expand its operation in Co Armagh.

Bedeck, based in Magheralin near Lurgan, designs, sources and sells branded bedlinen and towels, both through wholesale and retail outlets.

Its retail arm includes its factory shop in Magherlin, stores in the Linen Green in Dungannon, the Lisburn Road in Belfast and The Boulevard outlet park in Banbridge.

Bedeck's extensive retail operation also includes dozens of concessions throughout the UK and Ireland, including House of Fraser.

The company has seen its operation expand in recent years, last year securing an exclusive link-up with a US distributor.

The latest financial report from Bedeck Ltd showed a workforce of 331, largely made up of 239 retail staff. Turnover during 2017 reached £35.2m, although the company suffered a pre-tax loss of £205,537 for the 12-month period, compared with a £1.1m profit in 2016.

That hasn't deterred the extensive family-owned operation from submitting a planning application to demolish a 8,000 sq ft warehouse at 187 Lurgan Road and replace it with a 20,000 sq ft dispatch building.

According to documents submitted to Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the expansion will feature a show room, office space, storage space and welfare facilities.

Industry monitor Contraction Information Services Ireland has valued the project at just under £1m.

Founded as a handkerchief-making business by Alexander Irwin in 1951, Bedeck has grown into a global operation, now headed by the third generation leadership team of brothers Gary and Andrew Irwin.

The move to expand its base at Magheralin follows last year's announcement of a major contract with CHF, the largest branded and private label manufacturers of home textiles in the US.

The lucrative deal has put Bedeck products in north American stores for the first time, with the US textiles market reportedly worth up to $15bn a year.

Bedeck has also been given exclusive rights to sell CHF brands such as DKNY bed and bath products throughout its 80 stores and in-shop concessions, plus other leading retailers in Ireland and the UK.

The partnership involves all major textile items for the home, including bedding, bath and window fashions.

Speaking last year, Bedeck's joint managing director Gary Irwin said: "Partnering with CHF Industries is Bedeck's first link-up with a distributor and represents a major opportunity to grow revenue through the sale of both Bedeck and CHF brands."

Belfast Telegraph

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