The shop where it all began for a famous South Tyneside company has had an £80,000 makeover.
Dicksons, in The Nook, South Shields, was the first ever to open in 1953 by the late Irwin and Helen Dickson.
The store, in Prince Edward Road, is now the latest in the company’s retail chain to be refurbished as part of its ongoing expansion programme.
It was not only the first ever shop but was also home to the young Dickson family who lived in the flat above and was where all Dicksons’ famous products were originally produced until the company opened its first dedicated factory in 1981.
Whilst the shop will now boast digital screens and a new build your own sandwich bar, bosses at the family firm have been sure to pay homage to the shop’s history by installing a family timeline plotting the growth of Dicksons across the region.
Former employees and shop managers, some of whom had originally worked with the company founders were invited to officially unveil the new look shop.
Freda Cornell, 68 who worked in the shop with Helen Dickson back in 1969 helped mark the occasion.
She said: “I worked at Dicksons for 40 years until I retired in 2009. When I first started I worked in the shop with Helen Dickson who came down from upstairs every day at 10.50am to serve behind the counter with us.
“The shop was very different to the way it is today, the fridge was outside in the yard and we had to walk through the snow to bring the food in to the shop. But Dicksons have always been good at moving with the times and investing in their shops to keep them up to date.
“The refurbished shop looks great and it’s lovely to see the company timeline plotted on the wall, it really helps to tell the Dicksons story.”
Elena Dickson, marketing director and third generation Dickson said: “We are investing significantly in our retail estate in order to meet our ambitious target of 40 shops around the region.
“We have opened shops in brand new geographical locations such as Peterlee and Durham City Centre but seeing the transformation of my grandparents’ first ever shop, which was home to my dad and aunts, marks an important milestone not only for the business but for the Dickson family too.
“I’m delighted that some of our former staff members who have played such a key part in our journey were able to join us to mark the occasion.”