A brave business owner has unveiled plans to expand into a high street despite shops closing throughout the county at an alarming rate.
Furniture boss Jacob Compton admits his new venture in Tenterden carries serious risk but stresses he “still has faith in” Kent’s town centres.
The Faversham-based Compton’s Kitchens owner plans to roll out his third showroom despite at least 17 shops shutting across the county in January
Explaining how his family-run tables and chairs business started in a garden shed more than a decade ago, the director of five-years told KentOnline: “It’s a worry and a massive risk but where would we be if we didn’t take risks?
“I’d be silly to say it isn’t a worry but I think we always treat our customers with respect and get good reviews.
“Twelve or 13 years ago my dad started in a small cabin upcycling furniture. We then moved into making tables and chairs.
“Unfortunately he then had to take a step back from the business and I took over and we developed into kitchens.”
The company opened a store in Faversham roughly eight years ago and branched into offering kitchens three years later. Shortly after this, they opened their second site in Herne Bay.
After years of research, the team landed on Tenterden as the best place to open now so are leasing the former Crew Clothing store which shut in September, and have now put in plans for new shop signage.
“Our first unit was a small sink unit – the heaviest thing we’ve ever made – and we started getting a few orders from it and it went on from there to develop into where we are today”, Mr Compton said.
“We did so much research on different towns to expand to and Tenterden ticked all the right boxes for us.
“We also looked at some other shops in Tenterden, but this one felt right. There are other places that we looked at like Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks but there are a lot of kitchen shops in there already.”
Describing the towns of Tenterden and Faversham as having a similar feel, he added: “The type of people, the friendliness and the family / local buying aspect is the same as here and we get on very well down there so hopefully it will transpire.
“Being quite an old quintessential town, Tenterden is very similar to what our original store in Faversham is but maybe on a slightly bigger scale – it’s got lots of independent shops which we are as we’re a family-run company and we’ve always had these family-run values.
“I think our business and philosophy will fit really nicely here.”