Barker and Stonehouse open new £5m store

North East furniture company Barker and Stonehouse has opened its new £5m flagship store in Gateshead.

The family-owned business, which opened its first store in Stockton on Tees in 1946, officially opened the doors on its 12th main store on Good Friday (April 7th). Actress Joanna Lumley performed the opening ceremony.

The new store has been two years in the making and has a number of innovative features. In line with the retailer’s eco-friendly approach, the new store has been designed with sustainability ingrained in its blueprint and a number of unique features.

As well as the latest furnishings in Barker and Stonehouse’s extensive range, the new Gateshead store features an events and co-working space called The Nook. With complimentary Wi-Fi, it’s a space that encourages visitors to stay a while, relax, meet friends or work from the specially designed oak and glass hot-desk bar and lounge area.

Leading designers and makers, along with interior and design influencers, will be delivering an ongoing programme of special events and activities in The Nook, for customers and the public.

The top floor has a stunning indoor/outdoor café bistro, run by leading North East restaurateur, Daryl Chadwick. The lunch menu focuses on Mediterranean specialities served in a family and sharing-plate style. The café also serves delicious breakfasts and brunch. The space seamlessly blends a large outdoor terrace with richly planted raised borders, with an interior of terrazzo flooring, marble tables and dark wood cladding.

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.

“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.”

As well as being easily accessible by public transport, the store – on the site of the former Snow + Rock outlet – will have a dedicated car park with electric vehicle charging points.

Barker and Stonehouse was founded in 1946 by James Barker’s grandfather Charles Barker and Alex Stonehouse with a mission to enliven the living rooms of Britain.

Since then, the company has grown to employ over 440 people with an annual turnover of nearly £100m. Alongside its 12 main stores, Barker and Stonehouse also operates two Concept Stores, one within Fenwick’s Newcastle upon Tyne flagship outlet, and the other in Bentalls in Kingston upon Thames, two Outlet Stores and four Warehousing Distribution Centres.

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