Barker and Stonehouse unveils new flagship Gateshead store
Barker and Stonehouse has invested £5 million in a new flagship store in Gateshead.
The 12th shop for the family-owned business, which opened its first outlet in Stockton on Tees in 1946, the space was officially opened by actress Joanna Lumley at the weekend, who also took part in a discussion about her life and work.
James Barker, managing director at Barker and Stonehouse, said: “Whilst Barker and Stonehouse is a national brand with stores across the country, the North East is very much still our home so we are thrilled to be investing in the region and to be bringing our latest ideas and products to its people.”
Two years in the making, the shop features a number of innovative features, including an events and co-working space called The Nook where visitors are encouraged to stay a while, relax, meet friends or work from the specially designed oak and glass hot-desk bar and lounge area. In addition, the Nook will offer an ongoing programme of special events and activities for both customers and the public.
Meanwhile the top floor of the store has an indoor/outdoor café bistro run by North East restaurateur Daryl Chadwick.
Barker added: “The Gateshead store opens a new chapter in the company’s 77-year history and has some fantastic unique design features that I’m hoping our customers will really enjoy and make use of, such as our co-working lounge and our bistro.
“The store has been designed to be a really restful, organic space, and showcases some truly exceptional furniture. It will be great seeing how customers respond to what we’ve done with the store and the mix of furniture, lighting and accessories we’ve sourced.”
Barker and Stonehouse now employs over 440 people and has an annual turnover of nearly £100 million. Alongside its 12 main stores, the retailer also operates concept stores in Fenwick in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Bentalls in Kingston-upon-Thames.