Founder pays a flying visit to Gosport store

VISIT General assistant Bev Corken, entrepreneur and founder Chris Dawson, with general assistant Debbie Cains and deputy store manager Shane Stuart
VISIT General assistant Bev Corken, entrepreneur and founder Chris Dawson, with general assistant Debbie Cains and deputy store manager Shane Stuart
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A MILLIONAIRE swept into a store in Gosport to check on its progress.

Entrepreneur Chris Dawson visited The Range in Gunners Way yesterday.

The owner of CDS International, which runs the brand across the country, was on a tour of his stores in the south.

He was keen to emphasise the success of the Gosport store, which has been open since 2002 and employs more than 100 people.

He said: ‘It’s had continuous growth – like-for-like sales have been up.

‘We’ve just re-fitted the store, and a lot of the people are the original staff. It says it all, they’ve been here years and years.

‘It’s a great store for us, and we’re opening in Portsmouth today.’

The Portsmouth store in Portfield Road will employ around 150 staff.

General assistant Debbie Cains has worked at the Gosport store since it opened.

‘You get to meet nice people,’ she said.

‘We get our regular customers in and we know a lot of them by first name. The staff who work here are nice. It’s a good bunch. It’s like a little family.’

She had previously met Mr Dawson, who arrived in the area by helicopter at Daedalus airfield.

The businessman, who was recently on Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones’ new show, Peter Jones Meets, said his focus has secured his business success.

Mr Dawson, who visits the store often, said: ‘My job today is to beat yesterday and my job tomorrow is to beat today, and that’s a complete relentless drive all the time.

‘I call it greed – it’s greed for success, I want more and more and more.’

And he said his staff are encouraged to share in the entrepreneurial drive.

He said: ‘They’re allowed to be entrepreneurial. When you work for a plc it’s “I don’t want your opinion, I don’t want your ambition”.

‘People here are allowed within reason to be entrepreneurial.

‘The whole company is like that – it rubs off.’