TJ Hughes will create 240 jobs in Scotland thanks to the launch of four new stores this autumn, as the retailer seemingly bucks the high street store closure trend.
The discounter announced it will open three new stores north of the Border in the coming months, in East Kilbride, Dundee and Clydebank, in addition to its Livingston outlet, which opened its doors last week.
Nearly 300 jobs will be created in the current expansion, 240 of those in its Scottish stores, bringing the retailer’s total workforce to 1,500 across the UK.
The expansion follows the success of TJ’s Glasgow outlet, which was its only Scottish outlet until last week, and is part of the chain’s development programme to build up its UK store portfolio from 21 outlets to 26 by the end of the year.
It will also open one further store in Stockton-on-Tees.
The announcement will be viewed as welcome news for the UK retail sector, which has seen a recent spate of high street casualties.
Town centre stalwarts such as House of Fraser, Poundworld and Toys R Us have fallen into administration, while firms including New Look, Mothercare and Carpetright have embarked on restructuring programmes.
TJ Hughes’ growth marks a significant comeback, as the discounter has undergone its own strategic turnaround since calling in the administrators in 2011.
The retailer, which was forced to close 30 stores across Scotland and England, was subsequently acquired by Lewis’ Home Retail, spearheaded by chief executive Anil Juneja.
Under Juneja’s leadership, TJ Hughes has seen a steady recovery, growing its six remaining stores to a total of 21 by the end of 2017.
Speaking about the expansion, Juneja said: “TJ Hughes is one of the few high street success stories as sadly we are seeing too many familiar faces disappearing from our town centres, but where there is growth is the discount and value sector, which is our model.
“[The likes of] Primark and Aldi are all showing retailers shoppers still want a physical experience and we have a winning formula by offering big brands with up to 70 per cent discount.”
TJ Hughes announced earlier this year that it would be partnering with a range of new concessions, including brands such as French Connection, Regatta, Bassini and Just Elegance.
Juneja added: “We now have 21 stores and are opening a further five stores this year, including two former Toys R Us stores where we will have a huge home offer, as well as the fashion and leisure offer we’re famous for.
“It makes sense for us to cluster stores in terms of supply, distribution and getting the word of mouth out about the TJ’s story.
“We’re hugely excited by our Scottish expansion and we see this as the perfect opportunity for TJ’s continued growth.”