Jessica, Supervisor Jade, Rosalyn, Store manager Paul and Assistant Manager Natasha
National chain The Works who offer books, toys, gifts, stationery and arts & crafts at discount prices have opened the doors of their brand new Sittingbourne store, located in the Forum Shopping Centre.
New stored Manager Paul told us that he had worked for The Works for four years and was previously the Assistant Manager in Basingstoke and said he was excited to be in Sittingbourne and was confident about the future.
Area Manager Paul and Store Manager Paul cutting the ribbon
Area Manager Paul White said “I’ve been in the business for two years in which time I’ve opened nine stores.”
“Sittingbourne is a town we have always wanted to trade in, our CEO has what we call Area 21 which is a wish list of locations and as a business we have proven that we can trade in slightly smaller towns and we don’t need to be located in larger cities. We’re come up with a format that is forever changing but which works well for the local community so they don’t have to travel far to find one of our stalls.”
“Traditionally our stores have had to be of a particular size to accommodate everything we sell whereas with our new format we can bespoke that to make it work.”
“Our ideal size is around 1,500 sq feet; we have moved in to retail parks that are 2,000 to 3,000 sq feet so we are actually proving that we can work in the biggest space to the smallest space which allows us to trade in smaller towns. And we plan on opening 50 stores a year for the next 5 years so we are growing at a pace.
The Works team with Richard Ramsaran- Divisional Manager, Paul White - Area Manager and Steve Collarde - Store Development Manager
Well I for one am really pleased that a national retailer is putting their faith in Sittingbourne, it’s great to have some good economic news to share and incidentally I should mention that all five of the workforce are from Swale.
However, this is just to start of the good news for the Forum Shopping Centre, because Trenches has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment to become Sittingbourne’s only waffle house.
The independent café, now known as Trenchers and Cream, who sell sandwiches, paninis, quiches and other homemade food will now specialises in mouth-watering waffles, tantalising crepes, scrumptious milkshakes and tempting ice cream sundaes.
Jay Bowden, Manager of Trenchers Café, commented: “We decided to update our café and menu as there isn’t an eatery in the area that offers food like this and we thought it would prove popular. We look forward to welcoming everyone down to the new and improved Trenchers Café and hope they enjoy our menu!”
The Forum are also holding a Summer of activities for children each Saturday with performers and activities completely free of charge.
And if that were not enough there is more good news coming shortly.