Co-op backs Richer Sounds’ Deansgate move

Hi-fi and TV retailer Richer Sounds has opened its first shop in Manchester city centre with funding from The Co-operative Bank's corporate banking centre.

Richer Sounds has 48 stores in 39 locations, including Stockport and Prestwich. The seven-figure lending facility from the Co-operative allowed JR Properties, Richer Sounds' sister organisation, to purchase and refurbish the former Unison building on Deansgate.

The street-facing section of the ground floor is being used by Richer Sounds, with the remaining ground floor space and additional two floors, which covers over 5,000 sq ft, to be leased out as office space by agent Edwards & Co.

David Robinson, managing director of JR Properties and chairman of Richer Sounds, said: "We've always thought of Deansgate as an ideal location for Richer Sounds and we're delighted to have purchased the building with the support of the Co-operative Bank.

"We're pleased we've been able to increase our commercial portfolio and are confident the office space on the top two floors will attract occupiers in due course."

Phil Basten, head of the property finance unit at the Co-operative Bank in Manchester, said; "The Co-operative Bank provided a substantial increase in financial support to J R Properties which enabled the company to acquire the premises on Deansgate. Richer Sounds is among a very select band of electrical retailers to have increased revenue in this difficult current climate and is a business The Co-operative Bank is very pleased to be involved with.

"This deal shows that even in today's uncertain economic climate, we are still very much open for business and lending to companies with impressive business strategies. We are in a strong position to provide funding, where we focus on supporting existing customers and developing high quality, long term new relationships."

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