How are things looking for the high street? With shops sitting empty below the signs of once-illustrious names like Debenhams and TopShop, you’d be forgiven for feeling gloomy about the situation. But some retailers have benefited from lockdown trends and are expanding – such as geek culture and gaming cafe chain Geek Retreat. How is the chain doing?
In October, the Scottish business announced plans to open 100 shops in the UK. Since then, there has been another national lockdown, which looked like it could throw those plans into doubt.
But the business has confirmed in an announcement that, despite the setbacks, it is still on track to open 60 stores by the end of this year and is to meet its 100-shop target.
How many shops are there?
The Geek Retreat franchise, which opened its first store in Glasgow in 2013, now has 27 stores. New stores are due to open in the next couple of months, including in Blackburn, Hereford, Exeter, Lincoln, Ipswich and Bedford.
Will this create jobs?
Meeting a total of 60 shops by the end of this year should add 360 jobs. Four franchise development managers have also been added, plus 25 employees at head office.
What does the business say?
“We are pressing ahead with our expansion plans and are on track to meet our target,” said chief executive Peter Dobson.
“Despite the impact the pandemic has had on the high street more generally, the Geek Retreat proposition and unique culture has proved particularly resilient and has shown us how important it is for people to have a safe please to visit and to share their interests with friends as part of a community.”
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