Fabrics, hobby and home store Abakhan is to open a store in Altrincham town centre.
The unit on George Street will be the family-run company’s ninth bricks and mortar store – it already has outlets across the North including on Oldham Street in Manchester.
Its arrival is a major boost for the southern end of Altrincham’s main shopping thoroughfare and is located close to where the much-loved Singer Sewing Centre was located.
Marketing director Beth Abakhan, who said the new store will create five new jobs, said that the company was confident it had found the right spot for its first new store since 2008.
She said: “We’ve been looking for quite a long time. We looked at Shrewsbury about three years ago, but we wanted a high street base. Once we had found this unit and then discovered the market and the investment that’s going into Altrincham, we knew we’d found the right place and we’re confident it will be a success.”
Abakhan was founded decades ago by Beth’s grandfather Michael, a Russian who started making rugs on a loom in Birkenhead. His son, Beth’s father Nick, used to source all the textiles and bring them back to Merseyside.
The company acquired its first site in Mostyn in North Wales in 1973, which remains the company’s flagship store with a large café and a gift shop.
The business as a whole has gone from strength to strength, and now employs 280 people with an annual turnover of £13m.
It also has an online operation (run by Beth’s brother, Will Abakhan) with around 25,000 products, everything from fabrics and soft furnishings to knitting yarns and craft accessories.
Beth said its new Altrincham store – which is scheduled to open in the first week of June – would also be running classes for skills such as sewing, dress-making, machine embroidery and the like.
The manager of its Manchester outlet, Debbie, has spent 20 years with the company and will be moving to take charge of the George Street shop.
Beth added: “For us it’s a smaller store concept so it’s been an interesting experience putting it all together. We are really excited – feedback so far has been so supportive and we can’t wait to open up.”