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Gillies to invest £2.5m expanding store

GilliesInvplanningFurniture and flooring chain Gillies is to invest £2.5m expanding its most recent store.

The five-store chain has applied for planning permission to build a two-storey extension to the rear of its Chapel Street, Inverness branch.

The development would add 10,300sqft of new retail space as well as freeing up space in the existing building while adding new offices, toilets storage space and a new entrance.

Parking spaces will be reduced from 49 to 17 to accommodate the expansion.

‘We recognise that the Highlands is a very important market to the company and our current store is not large enough to display our core ranges. We have been more of less closed six months but we still believe that the high street and particularly that type of product beats the Internet because people want to see and sit on our products. We do really like to invest in bricks and mortar. We are committed to town centre developments. All our stores are town centre, we are not retail park people and we like to be individuals on the high street,’ says Ian Philip, Gillies md.

‘We are going to try and make the interior even more aspirational. It will be design-led and incorporating many new features such as a new type of bedroom display, which we have just opened in our Brought Ferry store, solar panels, and electric car charging points. We are demonstrating confidence in the future market place by making this fairly significant investment.’

The expansion of the store, which opened in 2017, is expected to create four jobs.

Pictured: Part of the planning application shows the scale of the extension.