Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's Wooden Floor Company is reaching new heights with three new stores

Team Wooden Floor on Ben Nevis, including directors Richard Snape NI floor firm (left) and Ross Nicholl (right)
Team Wooden Floor on Ben Nevis, including directors Richard Snape NI floor firm (left) and Ross Nicholl (right)
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

A Northern Ireland flooring supplier has opened two new stores in England, with plans in place for a third to open next month.

The Wooden Floor Company has opened two new showrooms in Reading and Peterborough taking its total retail sites to nine.

Another store in Manchester is scheduled to open next month.

At around 3,000sq ft respectively, the company said the three sites will create up to 12 new jobs and boost group turnover by between £1.5m and £2m.

To mark the new openings, directors and staff from the company climbed the four highest mountains in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The Belfast firm supplied flooring for the set of James Bond film Spectre in 2015. Pinewood Studios, which produced the film, approached the company with a £30,000 contract to supply flooring for a luxury Austrian hotel set.

Now in its 20th year, the Wooden Floor Company currently has two stores in Northern Ireland (Belfast and Lisburn), four outlets in Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Paisley) and will have four in England after the latest expansion phase (London, Manchester, Peterborough and Reading).

The company said it plans to operate from more than 20 sites across the UK over the next three to five years.

Further expansion into locations across the Midlands, Wales and south east England is in the pipeline and anticipated to materialise next year.

Richard Snape, director and co-founder of the Wooden Floor Company, said: "Twenty years ago we started with nothing but an initial investment of £500 and have grown to become the only independent with a nationwide footprint.

"Much like the four peaks challenge, our growth has been an uphill struggle at times and we're not at the summit yet. We still have ambitious growth plans and hope to keep climbing."

Fellow director and co-founder Ross Nicholl added: "We got some strange looks from other climbers at the summit of Ben Nevis when we started laying flooring, but we have always taken our own path and this just felt like a fitting way to celebrate that we were literally reaching new heights.

"We're delighted to have opened the Peterborough and Reading stores, and look forward to opening the Manchester branch launching next month.

"We're in talks with parties across numerous sites with significant further growth opportunities in England."

As well as marking the launch of the new stores, the four peaks challenge helped raise £1,400 for the charity Chest Heart & Stroke.

Belfast Telegraph