Businessman opens town centre store after expanding spare room business into thriving firm

Paul Leonard, partner Nicola, children Noah and Laura, opening their new Flooring shop in Jarrow's Viking Shopping Centre.
Paul Leonard, partner Nicola, children Noah and Laura, opening their new Flooring shop in Jarrow's Viking Shopping Centre.

A flooring expert is continuing to lay the foundations of the family business success by moving into his first town centre store.

Paul Leonard has taken over premises in the Viking Shopping Centre in Jarrow - a long way from the spare room at his home where he started the business.

He is now able to turn a unit he has in the town’s Royal Industrial Estate into a warehouse to enable him to provide more choice for customers.

Mr Leonard threw open the doors at Paul Leonard Flooring, last week, as his shop was officially opened by Ken Finlay, chairman of the town’s local history group.

The new premises comes a year after he first rolled up the shutters on the industrial estate premises.

Mr Leonard said: “We had a showroom on the industrial estate which was doing really well but some of the feedback we were getting was that people found it difficult to get too.

“We were looking for new premises which would be in a better position and found a place in the Viking Centre.

“We decided to keep the unit and turn it into a warehouse.

“It was always our main aim to have premises in a main shopping centre and now we are able to.”

Since the launch of his family-run business in 2013, he says his staff have trebled in numbers.

Mr Leonard, who went through an apprenticeship alongside his brothers Michael, Andrew and Steven in the flooring industry, added: “Having these new premises means we will be able to provide more ranges, and ranges we always wanted to have but just didn’t have the space for.

“It also means we are now more accessible to those who found it hard to reach us due to the lack of public transport.”

The company, which specialises in carpets, vinyls, laminates, design flooring, solid and commercial flooring, has been recognised by Checkatrade.

The new store also has a range of rugs.

Mr Leonard said: “A lot of our business comes from recommendations which is really good.”

Mr Leonard’s company has in the past carried out work for high-profile clients including the Port of Tyne and engineering and electronic giant Siemens, as well as flooring work for local pubs, hair salons and other local firms.

As well as the showroom, samples are carried by estimators to make it easier for those who find it hard to get out and about.

Paul Leonard Flooring is open Monday to Friday, 9am til 5pm and Saturdays 9am til 4pm.

For more details, call 489 7908 or visit Leonard Flooring Specialists Ltd on Facebook.