Jobs boost for DIY store

Dickens staff(left to right) Peter Dutton, Andy Booth and manager Craig Howlett in the new 'Dickies' section of the Tower Street store.
Dickens staff(left to right) Peter Dutton, Andy Booth and manager Craig Howlett in the new 'Dickies' section of the Tower Street store.

A HARTLEPOOL store has taken on extra staff and invested nearly £100,000 after increasing its links with a workwear company.

And another job could be on the way thanks to the investment at Charles Dickens, in Tower Street.

It has created a workwear centre within the store in a deal e with the famous clothing firm Dickies. One person has been taken on full time to deal with internet sales from the predicted increase in business.

Craig Howlett is the senior manager/buyer for the Smart Corporation which is the umbrella company for Charles Dickens.

He said: “Workwear is a good selling line and we have noticed a big increase over the last couple of years. We decided to do something about it.

“We were doing well but we were doing it on a very small scale. We had trousers and the odd pair of boots and a couple of jackets but nothing big - but we sold the items quite well.

“They approached us and asked if we would be interested in doing a workwear centre which would be the only one in Hartlepool.”

The shop fit includes a bespoke changing room and meant an investment “in the region of £100,000,” said Craig. “We have set it out like a department store. We have had a carpet area put in.”

The store has 16 staff with one person already added to the team to help cater for the expected increase in demand from the new section but the store also hopes to employ another new recruit.

Craig explained: “We are wanting to go into embroidery and printing on the workwear. That is the next step in the progression. We are looking for a full-time member of staff to come in and run that.”

Charles Dickens was first established in 1927 and offers products to both DIY customers and trade customers.