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Axminster Tools & Machinery got off to flying start
A NEW tools and machinery store just off Brighton Hill Roundabout, in Basingstoke, opened for business with a special launch at the weekend.
Axminster Tools & Machinery, in Winchester Road, employs 10 people at its bright new premises in what was previously Comet.
The new 7,700 sq ft store is the sixth for the company, joining branches in Axminster, Sittingbourne, High Wycombe, Nuneaton and Warrington, selling a range of professional machines such as wood turning lathes, pillar drills and hand tools to paint brushes.
And it is the first of the Axminster stores to open seven days a week, recognising that many customers, due to their own work-life commitments, find it convenient to shop on a Sunday.
The store stocks all of the most popular lines and brands, and customers can order in-store items from the Axminster Tools & Machinery catalogue.
Retail development director Darran McLeod said: “Whilst this new store may be smaller than some of the other branches, we have introduced a new format with improved layout and different merchandising techniques which will enhance the product and provide the customer with more information.
“Despite these changes, the store will still maintain the Axminster ethos of offering high-quality advice and customer service.”
When choosing the site for the new store, the company looked at more than 20 other premises in the south of England.
“The potential of the Basingstoke site soon became apparent,” said Darran. “It provides a store that enables products to be displayed effectively and is in a highly populated area with a solid infrastructure, making the store easily accessible for not only the people of Basingstoke, but also the surrounding areas.”
Speaking about the launch weekend, deputy store manager Simon Jones said: “It was exceptional – we were very busy and had queues pretty much all day – we even opened early on Saturday because people were waiting outside.”
Situated next to Hobbycraft, Simon feels there will be a symbiotic relationship between the two companies.
“I think we can work well together, and in the future we are hoping to do events together.”
He said all kinds of people visited the store over the weekend, ranging from trade professionals, craft hobbyists and those interested in DIY.
“I gather from the guys from our head office, it was the best start-up they’ve had, and this looks to be one of the most popular stores so far – and fingers crossed it will stay like that,” said Simon.
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