By Mark Williamson

A flooring retailer expects to create jobs in Scotland as it mounts an expansion drive in spite of uncertainty about the outlook for the economy after securing £1,500,000 funding from Bank of Scotland.

Hillington-based Direct Flooring plans to open its first outlet in Perth as well as increasing its presence in Glasgow.

The privately-owned firm will move its operation on Glasgow’s London Road into a bigger showroom opposite the existing store.

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The company expects to increase employee numbers by ten per cent, to 65, as a result of the openings. These buck a gloomy trend in the retail sector.

While some bricks and mortar retailers have been hit hard by the emergence of online players Direct Flooring’s John Semple said the company had benefited from the increase in interest in home decor generated by some internet sites.

“Customers are coming to us with images of their dream home that they’ve created on websites like Pinterest,” he said.“Having a physical presence on Scottish high streets, where customers can visit us and turn their online designs into a reality, is extremely important.”

Mr Semple said Bank of Scotland had provided invaluable help in support of the company’s expansion.

Direct Flooring has 12 outlets across Scotland and sells online. The new Perth outlet is expected to open next year.

Bank of Scotland relationship manager Derek Weir said: “Ecommerce is now a crucial consideration for the majority of retailers, but it’s encouraging to see Direct Flooring continue to place equal importance on the experience it gives customer in-store.”

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Direct Flooring expects to grow turnover by 15 per cent, £4m to around £27m, over the next three years. It plans to lease space within both new properties to other retailers, to provide an additional revenue stream.