A CITY-centre store is expanding across the county after years of success in the city.

D&G Hardware, based in St George’s Street, has been established in Winchester for over 40 years and is now opening two new stores, with a third currently under negotiation in Southampton.

Owner Toby Roberts bought stores – Morgan’s Hardware of Alresford and of Bishop’s Waltham – earlier this year, and has now launched under the D&G Hardware brand.

Mr Roberts, who bought the Winchester store in 2007, said the new sites were in need of considerable investment. As a result, major changes have been made to layouts of both shops.

Now operating six stores in Hampshire, the brand has won a number of awards, including gold at the Britain’s Best Retailer Awards in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Mr Roberts said: “Yes, it is tough out there right now, but we are constantly changing our offering and adapting to different customer requirements.

“As other specialist stores around us close, it gives us a unique opportunity to develop our range even wider. We have now become a convenient local one-stop-shop for all of life’s essentials when is comes to house, home, garden and places of work in Hampshire.”

He added: “Many thanks to all our wonderful customers, without which none of the above could or would have been possible.”

The news comes as another vacant Winchester unit looks set to reopen.

National chain Cook has put branding in the windows of the former Jaeger unit, also in St George’s Street, which has been empty since the fashion chain went into administration just over a year ago.

The new occupier, which sells frozen home-cooked, meals currently has over 100 stores.