Family firm Bodyguard Workwear has opened a new safety superstore in Birmingham after securing funding.
The company is more than trebling its retail space after moving into the 50,000 sq ft former Fletchers Autostore premises on Dartmouth Middleway,
The business manufacturers and supplies safety clothing, corporate wear and personal protective equipment for a cross section of industry sectors, including construction, food, security, railways and distribution.
Established in 1975, Bodyguard Workwear is run by the Basra family and the firm is one of the leading protective workwear businesses in the UK.
Previously based in a small 15,000 sq ft premises on Rea Street, Digbeth, the management searched for two years to relocate the business and agreed a deal with Lloyds TSB Commercial to fund the relocation and refurbishment of the building.
The bank assessed the Bodyguard Workwear business case and upon approving the funding, the company set about five months of remodelling and refurbishing the site.
The safety superstore opened on September 10, housing more than 2,000 garments and accessories.
Kamal Basra, director of Bodyguard Workwear, said: “We set up the safety superstore arm to our business, as we saw a niche in the market for safety equipment aimed at the DIY market, as well as the construction and building sector and this is what makes our company unique.
“After working hard over the years to establish the firm as a market leader, it’s fantastic that we are able to open the UK’s first safety superstore.
“I firmly believe there is nothing quite like trying a garment on, or getting advice from professionals while shopping.”
Bodyguard Workwear took over the lease of the store after Fletchers Autostore, one of Birmingham’s longest-established motoring businesses, closed doors after more than 50 years.
Formerly known as A.B. Fletchers, the Great Lister Street shop had been a magnet for West Midland motorists on the lookout for parts and accessories for decades but fell victim to the recession.
Damian Mohan, relationship director at Lloyds TSB Commercial, said: “The growth of Bodyguard Workwear has been very impressive and the new store is testament to the Basra family’s hard work and dedication to producing high quality safety wear products over many years.
“As a retailer and a manufacturer, the firm is a valuable employer in the area and as a bank we are looking forward to supporting Kamal and the team as they continue to grow the business.”