Kukoon.com expands rugs business into Belfast in £250,000 investment
NEWRY-based Kukoon.com, formerly known as The Rug House, has opened a plush new 3,500 sq foot showroom at Boucher Crescent in Belfast in a £250,000 investment which has created five jobs.
It marks a further expansion into 'bricks and mortar' for the company, which was set up by brother and sister team Clare and Paul Vallely originally as an eBay online seller.
In 2007 Rug House reached the stage where the company needed a presence on the ground to allow its Ireland-wide customers to feel and touch the product before they buy.
That prompted it to move the business from kitchen table into a 60,000 sq ft warehouse operation at Shepherd's Way in Newry's Carnbane industrial estate, enabling it to physically display thousands of its rugs.
The company's stated aim since has been to establish itself as a market leader for rugs not only in Ireland and the UK, but worldwide.
Earlier this year Claire and Paul rebranded the business to Kukoon.com to reflect its growing levels of international sales – a name it believes will be instantly recognisable and which customers will equate with quality, reliability and excellent service.
Now the company has its first Belfast address, opening an exceptionally designed outlet to showcase its extensive and unique range of wares, from basic synthetic rugs to high-end luxurious oriental, Persian and designer rugs.
"The showroom offers shoppers the chance to view a full range of quality rugs that have until now only been offered online," store manager Diana McFerran says.
"Our modern hang and glide rails make it easy to browse between each design. The Belfast showroom offers an extensive range of rugs, and if you are having difficulty deciding on a particular item, we can offer in-store private consultations.
Kukoon.com manager Stephen McElrone has travelled the world, from Belgium to Turkey to China, to source rugs of the finest quality and design, and he says: "Being in Belfast as well as Newry is hugely important for us."