July 26 2019 @ 8:30 by Steven Hugill
A heating and plumbing merchant has launched its third North East bathroom showroom in a £100,000 expansion.
Flame Heating Group has opened the showroom at the site of its existing trade counter on Sunderland’s Riverside Industrial Estate, after acquiring the branch’s adjoining unit.
Bosses say the 1,600sq ft development will see the extension of Flame’s Sunderland services and product range, as well as the creation of one initial job and scope for further in the future.
The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor David Snowdon and his Mayoress Councillor Dianne Snowdon marked the official launch of the showroom at an event hosted by Flame for customers, suppliers and friends.
The opening follows the launch of a bathroom showroom in Cramlington earlier in 2019, after the Boldon-headquartered company opened its first in Durham in 2017.
The showroom will form part of newly-established Flame brand Azure Bathrooms, with each of its existing showrooms also receiving a new-look through the branding.
It also provides customers with an opportunity to view their tailored bathrooms, complete with products and features they have selected, through a virtual reality headset.
John Savage, managing director of Flame Heating Group, added: “This is an exciting phase in the development of the company as we continue to diversify and enhance our bathroom showroom offering throughout the North East.
“I am excited by this latest launch and the potential of our Azure Bathrooms brand as we continue to invest in our existing branch network and new sites.
“The recognisable and appealing Azure brand will be integral to our future success.”
John added Flame, which operates 12 trade counters across the UK, expects to invest further in its branch network and double its headcount over the next three years.
Mayor Snowdon added: “We were delighted to be invited to support Flame with the opening of its new bathroom showroom and celebrate a significant investment in the city.
“I’d like to wish John and the team all the very best with this new, innovative venture, which will benefit tradespeople and people in Sunderland.”