Retailer’s commitment to the high street


The Yorkshire Linen Co has invested £300,000 in refurbishing three of its high street stores as it prepares to open a new outlet in Portugal.

The £18m turnover company has ploughed the money into its stores in Harrogate, Leeds and Hartlepool over the last 12 months, bringing its total investment over the last four years to more than £750,000 across its growing retail estate. It has just seen its revamped Leeds store reopen.

Managing director Ross Leventhal said more refurbishments were in the pipeline, and the possibility of opening new stores was “definitely on the cards”.

He added: “This continued investment in our stores is our commitment to supporting the UK’s high street.

“Shops up and down the country are having a very tough time. We have not been immune to the extremely challenging trading conditions, and we have had to realign our product offer and merchandising methods to compete.

“However, by listening to our customers, we know exactly what they want in terms of stock on the shelves, plus the environment they prefer to shop in.

“We are now on a much firmer footing and in a much stronger position to cope with the current economic climate.”

And next week, the Harrogate-based retailer, which has more than 40 stores and employs over 300 members of staff, will open a new outlet in Albufeira, adding to the eight stores already well established in Portugal and Spain.

The Yorkshire Linen Co was started in 1993 by Ross and Kirsteen Leventhal. In addition to shops predominantly located in the north of England, it also owns the Darley Mill Centre, on the outskirts of Harrogate, which it purchased in 2009.

Since then, more than £250,000 has been spent upgrading the 17th century mill building and restoring the water wheel.