The Range originated in the markets of the Southwest and was founded by Plymouth-based entrepreneur Chris Dawson. He started business in 1980 as an open air market trader and from these humble roots; The Range has grown with the company opening the first superstore at Sugar Mill Business Park in Plymouth in 1989.
The Range is recognised for its unique variety with more than 65,000 quality products across 16 departments including; DIY, Homewares, Furniture, Lighting, Arts & Crafts and Garden. The Range concept is to offer mid-price home, leisure and garden products, drawing together everything that could be needed for the stylish home at affordable prices.
By the end of 2011 the total number of Range stores will reach 59 across the UK, from Truro to Carlisle, employing over 4,000 members of staff. With a further 20 stores planned for 2012, The Range are continuing their aggressive growth strategy whilst some of its famous retail rivals have been left victims of the recession.
2011 has been another monumental year for The Range with the opening of eleven new superstores. As well as the launch of a new retail website, The Range has also launched The Money Range, which offers Insurance, Savings, Utilities, Mortgages and Travel Money enabling customer’s finances to be made simple.
Chris’s entrepreneurial talent has earned him wide recognition amongst the business community and he was recently recognised by Prime Minister, David Cameron as one of the country’s top entrepreneurs.
He was also crowned Ernst & Young Overall Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 for the London and South Region which saw him compete with 54 other business leaders from companies across London and the South.
The independent judges chaired by former Rank Group CEO Ian Burke, described Dawson as "an original entrepreneur, who started with nothing, including no external financing, and with complete passion has built a very profitable business. Chris has fantastic drive and spirit, for whom there are no limits to what he can do, and who sees opportunity in everything he does."
The Range has also diversified into property; manufacturing, waste management, shop-fitting, hearing aids, dry cleaning and has recently secured a place on the Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 250 league table of Britain’s leading mid-market private companies 2011.